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OBSERVATIONS 


ON 


POPULAR    ANTIQUITIES: 


CHIEFLY 


ILLUSTRATING    THE    ORIGIN   OF    OUR 


VULGAR    CUSTOMS,     CEREMONIES, 


SUPERSTITIONS. 
BY  JOHN   BRAND,    M.A. 

FELLOW  AND    SECRETARY    OF   THE    SOCIETY   OF    ANTIQUARIES    OF    LONDON! 

ARRANGED    AND    REVISED,    WITH    ADDITIONS, 

BY  HENRY  ELLIS,  F.R.S.  SEC.  S.A. 

KEEPER    OF   THE    MANUSCRIPTS    IN    THE    BRITISH    MUSEUM. 


VOL.  I. 


"  Nam  ul  veri  loquaiuur,  Superstitio  fusa  per  Orbem  oppressit  omnium  fer£  Animus,  atque  hominuu 
occupavit  imbecillitatem."  Cic.  DE  DIVINAT.  lib.  ii. 

"Sacra  recognosces  Annalibus  eruta  priscis; 

Et  quo  sit  merito  quaeque  nutata  dies. 
Invenies  illic  et  festa  domcstica  vobis. 

Saepe  tibi  Pater  est,  saepe  legendus  Avus." 

OVID.  FAST.  1.  i.  v.  7. 


LcmUoit: 

PRINTED  FOR  F.  C.  AND  J    R1VINGTON  ;  WILKIE  AND  ROBINSON;  JOHN  WALKER;   R.  LEA; 

WHITE,    COCHRANE    AND    CO.  ;    CADELL   AND    DAVIES  ;    LONGMAN,    HURST, 

REES,   ORME,   AND    BROWN;    J.   AND   A.   ARCH;    JOHN   RICHARDSON; 

W.  STEWART;    R.  BALDWIN;  CRADOCK  AND  JOY;  J.  FAULDER; 

AND  J.  JOHNSON  AND  CO. 

1813. 


110 


•  it'-) >>i\<;  A, 


PREFACE. 


1  RADITION  has  in  no^nstance  so  clearly  evinced  her  faithfulness 
as  in  the  transmittal  of  vulgar  rites  and  popular  opinions. 

Of  these,  when  we  are  desirous  of  tracing  them  backwards  to  their 
origin,  many  may  be  said  to  lose  themselves  in  the  Mists  of  Antiquity*. 
They  have  indeed  travelled  to  us  through  a  long  succession  of  years, 
and  the  greater  part  of  them,  it  is  not  improbable,  will  be  of  perpetual 
observation  :  for  the  generality  of  men  look  back  with  superstitious  ve- 
neration on  the  ages  of  their  forefathers,  and  authorities  that  are  grey 
with  time  seldom  fail  of  commanding  those  filial  honours  claimed  even 
by  the  appearance  of  hoary  age. 

It  must  be  confessed  that  many  of  these  are  mutilated,  and,  as  in 
the  Remains  of  antient  Statuary,  the  parts  of  some  have  been  auk- 


•  The  following  very  sensible  observation  occurs  in  the  St.  James's  Chronicle  from  Oct.  3d 
to  Oct.  5th  1797.  "  Ideas  have  been  entertained  by  fanciful  men  of  discovering  the  Languages 
of  antient  Nations  by  a  resolution  of  the  Elements  and  Powers  of  Speech,  as  the  only  true  ground 
of  Etymology  ;  but  the  fact  is,  that  there  is  no  constant  analogy  in  the  organs  of  different  people, 
any  more  than  in  their  customs  from  resemblance  of  their  climates.  The  Portuguese  change 
I  into  r,  II  into  ch,  ch  into  yt,  but  not  always.  The  Chinese  change  6,  d,  r,  s,  x,  z,  into  p,  t,  I,  s,  s. 
For  Crux  they  say  Culusu ;  for  Baptizo,  Papetizo ;  for  Cardinalis,  Kzaulsinalis ;  for  Spiritus,  Su- 
pelitisu;  for  Adam,  Vatam.  Here  the  words  are  so  changed,  that  it  is  impossible  to  say  that  they 
are  the  same.  A  more  sure  way  of  going  to  work  is,  by  a  Comparison  of  Customs,  as  when  we 
find  the  same  Customs  in  any  two  remote  Countries,  Egypt  and  China  for  instance,  which 
Customs  exist  no  where  else,  they  probably  originated  in  one  of  them." 


PREFACE. 

wardly  transposed :  they  preserve,  however,  the  principal  traits  that 
distinguished  them  in  their  origin. 

Things  that  are  composed  of  such  flimsy  materials  as  the  fancies  of  a 
multitude  do  not  seem  calculated  for  a  long  duration  ;  yet  have  these 
survived  shocks  by  which  even  Empires  have  been  overthrown,  and 
preserved  at  least  some  form  and  colour  of  identity,  during  a  repetition 
of  changes  both  in  the  religious  opinions  and  civil  polity  of  States. 

But  the  strongest  proof  of  their  remote  antiquity  is,  that  they  have 
outlived  the  general  knowledge  of  the  very  causes  that  gave  rise  to 
them  b. 

The  Reader  will  find,  in  the  subsequent  pages,  my  most  earnest  en- 
deavours to  rescue  many  of  those  causes  from  oblivion  c.  If,  on  the 

b  "  The  Study  of  Popular  Antiquities,"  says  a  Writer  with  the  signature  of  V.  F.  in  the  Monthly 
Magazine  for  April  1798,  p.  273,  "  though  the  materials  for  it  lie  so  widely  diffused,  and  indeed 
seem  to  obtrude  themselves  upon  every  one's  attention,  in  proportion  to  the  extent  of  his  inter- 
course with  the  common  people,  does  not  appear  to  have  engaged  so  much  of  the  notice  of  En- 
quirers into  Human  Life  and  Manners  as  might  have  been  expected." 

e  In  the  year  1777  I  re-published  Bourne's  Antiquitates  Vulgares,  a  little  Work  on  this  subject, 
which  then  had  become  exceedingly  scarce,  and  sold  very  high,  making  Observations  on  each  of 
his  Chapters,  and  throwing  the  new  Discoveries  into  an  Appendix  at  the  end.  That  volume,  too, 
by  those  who  have  mistaken  accident  for  merit,  is  now  marked  in  Catalogues  at  more  than  double 
its  original  price.  In  the  following  Work  1  have  been  advised  to  dissolve  amicably  the  literary 
jartnership  under  the  firm  of  Bourne  and  Brand,  and  to  adopt  a  very  different  plan,  presenting  to 
the  Public  a  Collection,  which  not  only  from  the  immense  variety  of  fresh  matter,  but  also  from 
the  totally  different  arrangement  of  the  subjects,  I  flatter  myself  I  may,  with  equal  truth  and  pro- 
priety, venture  to  denominate  an  entirely  new  one. 

In  this  I  shall  only  cite  my  predecessor  Bourne  in  common  with  the  other  Writers  on  the  same 
topics.  I  am  indebted  for  much  additional  matter  to  the  partiality  and  kindness  of  Francis 
Douce  Esq.  who,  having  enriched  an  interleaved  Copy  of  my  Edition  of  1777  with  many  very  per- 
tinent Notes  and  Illustrations,  furnished  from  his  own  extensive  reading  on  the  subject,  and 
from  most  rare  Books  in  his  truly  valuable  Library,  generously  permitted  me  to  make  whatever 
Extracts  from  them  I  should  think  interesting  to  my  present  purpose.  It  were  invidious  also  not 
to  make  my  acknowledgements  on  this  occasion  to  George  Steevens,  Esq.  the  learned  and  truly 
patient,  or  rather  indefatigable  Editor  of  Shakspeare,  who  had  the  goodness  to  lend  me  many 
scarce  Tracts,  which  no  Collection  but  his  own,  either  public  or  private,  that  I  know  of,  could 
have  supplied  me  with. 


THE  EDITOR'S  ADVERTISEMENT. 


THE  respected  Author  of  the  following  Work,  as  will  be  seen  by  the 
date  of  his  Preface,  had  prepared  it  to  meet  the  public  eye  so  long  ago 
as  1795.  The  subjects,  however,  which  form  the  different  Sections, 
were  then  miscellaneously  arranged,  and  he  had  not  kept  even  to  the 
chronological  order  of  the  Feasts  and  Fasts  observed  by  his  predecessor 
Bourne. 

The  idea  of  a  more  perspicuous  method  was  probably  the  first  occasion 
of  delay ;  till  the  kindness  of  friends,  the  perseverance  of  his  own  re- 
searches, and  the  vast  accession  of  intelligence  produced  by  the  Sta- 
tistical Enquiries  in  Scotland,  so  completely  overloaded  his  Manuscript, 
that  it  became  necessary  that  the  whole  Work  should  be  re-modelled. 
This  task,  even  to  a  person  of  Mr.  Brand's  unwearied  labour,  was  dis- 
couraging ;  and,  though  he  projected  a  new  disposition  of  his  ma- 
terials, he  had  made  no  progress  in  the  alteration  of  the  Work  at  the 
time  of  his  death. 

In  this  state,  at  the  sale  of  the  second  part  of  Mr.  Brand's  Library, 
in  1808,  the  Manuscript  of  his  Observations  on  Popular  Antiquities 
was  purchased.  Fortunately,  in  one  of  the  volumes,  a  Sketch  for  a 
new  Arrangement  was  inserted*,  which  has  been  followed  with  very 
little  variation. 

In  the  first  volume,  it  will  be  seen,  the  days  of  more  particular  note 
in  the  Calendar  are  taken  in  chronological  order;  the  Customs  at 

a  This  is,  no  doubt,  "  the  totally  different  Arrangement  of  the  subjects"  alluded  to  in  a  Note  in 
the  Preface,  p.  viii. 


VI  THE  EDITORS  ADVERTISEMENT. 

Country  Wakes,  Sheep-shearings,  and  other  rural  practices,  form  a 
sort  of  Supplement ;  and  these  are  again  followed  by  such  usages  and 
ceremonies  as  are  not  assignable  to  any  particular  period  of  the  year. 

In  the  second  volume,  the  Customs  and  Ceremonies  of  Common  Life 
are  introduced,  followed  by  the  numerous  train  of  Popular  Notions, 
Sports,  and  Errors. 

Mr.  Brand's  Extracts  from  Books  and  Manuscripts  have,  in  most 
instances,  been  collated  with  their  originals  :  a  service  which  has  added 
very  much  to  the  correctness  of  the  Work. 

The  Editor's  Additions  consist  chiefly,  though  not  quite  exclusively, 
in  the  passages  enclosed  by  brackets,  and  in  the  Index. 

i 

British  Museum, 
July  22,  1813. 


PREFACE.  XI 

investigation,  they  shall  appear  to  any  to  he  so  frivolous  as  not  to  have 
deserved  the  pains  of  the  search,  the  humble  Labourer  will  at  least 
have  the  satisfaction  of  avoiding  Censure  by  incurring  Contempt.  How 
trivial  soever  such  an  enquiry  may  seem  to  some,  yet  all  must  be  in- 
formed that  it  is  attended  with  no  inconsiderable  share  of  literary  toil 
and  difficulty.  A  passage  is  to  be  forced  through  a  wilderness,  intricate 
and  entangled  :  few  vestiges  of  former  labours  can  be  found  to  direct  us 
in  our  way,  and  we  must  oftentimes  trace  a  very  tedious  retrospective 
course,  perhaps  to  return  at  last,  weary  and  unsatisfied,  from  researches 
as  fruitless  as  those  of  some  antient  enthusiastic  Traveller,  who,  ranging 
the  barren  African  sands,  had  in  vain  attempted  to  investigate  the 
hidden  sources  of  the  Nile. 

Rugged,  however,  and  narrow  as  this  walk  of  study  may  seem  to 
many,  yet  must  it  be  acknowledged  that  Fancy,  who  shares  with  Hope 
the  pleasing  office  of  brightening  a  passage  through  every  route  of 
human  endeavours,  opens  from  hence,  too,  prospects  that  are  enriched 
with  the  choicest  beauties  of  her  magic  Creation. 

The  prime  origin  of  the  superstitious  notions  and  ceremonies  of  the 
people  is  absolutely  unattainable.  We  must  despair  of  ever  being  able 
to  reach  the  fountain-head  of  streams  which  have  been  running  and 
increasing  from  the  beginning  of  time  d.  All  that  we  can  aspire  to  do, 

d  Misson,  in  his  Travels  in  England,  translated  by  Ozell,  p.  66,  has  some  sensible  Observations 
upon  Customs.  "  All  reasonable  people  will  imagine,"  he  says,  "  that  as  there  is  Man  and  Man, 
so  there  is  Custom  and  Custom.  It  has  been  in  all  Ages  a  practice  to  talk  and  write  upon  the 
Manners  and  Customs  of  different  Nations ;  but  it  has  also  in  all  Ages  been  known,  that  there  was 
nothing  so  general  as  not  to  admit  of  some  exception.  By  degrees,  Customs  alter  in  the  very 
same  Country,  conformably  to  the  quality  and  education  of  the  Inhabitants.  By  a  Nation  we 
always  understand  the  greater  number ;  and  this  greater  number  is  not  made  up  of  the  persons 
of  the  highest  birth  or  merit,  no  more  than  it  is  of  the  Beggars  and  Scoundrels  that  compose  the 
lees  and  chaff  of  the  Country.  It  consists  of  the  people  that  live  in  a  certain  state  of  mediocrity, 
and  whose  humour,  taste,  and  manners,  as  to  certain  respects,  differ  from  each  other  only  as  to 
more  or  less." 

White,  in  his  Natural  History  of  Selborne,  p.  202.  observes :  "  It  is  the  hardest  thing  in  the 
VOL.  I.  b 


x  PREFACE. 

is  only  to  trace  their  courses  backward,  as  far  as  possible,  on  those 
Charts  that  now  remain  of  the  distant  Countries  whence  they  were  first 
perceived  to  flow. 

Few  who  are  desirous  of  investigating  the  popular  Notions  and  vulgar 
Ceremonies  of  our  own  Nation,  can  fail  of  deducing  them,  in  their  first 
direction,  from  the  times  when  Popery  was  our  established  Religion e. 

world  to  shake  off  superstitious  prejudices  :  they  are  sucked  in  as  it  were  with  our  mother's  milk ; 
and,  growing  up  with  us  at  a  time  when  they  take  the  fastest  hold  and  make  the  most  lasting 
impressions,  become  so  interwoven  with  our  very  constitutions,  that  the  strongest  sense  is  re- 
quired to  disengage  ourselves  from  them.  No  wonder,  therefore,  that  the  lower  people  retain 
them  their  whole  lives  through,  since  their  minds  are  not  invigorated  by  a  liberal  education,  and 
therefore  not  enabled  to  make  any  efforts  adequate  to  the  occasion.  Such  a  preamble  seems  to 
be  necessary  before  we  enter  on  the  Superstitions  of  this  District,  lest  we  should  be  suspected  of 
exaggeration  in  a  recital  of  practises  too  gross  for  this  enlightened  age." 

.  "  Superstition,"  says  Mr.  Harris,  in  the  Life  of  Charles  I.  p.  52,  note,  "  is  a  debasement  of 
Reason  and  Religion;  'tis  entertaining  misapprehensions  of  almighty  God;  'tis  the  practice  of 
things  weak  and  ridiculous,  in  order  to  please  him,  whereby  it  excites  in  the  mind  chimerical 
hopes,  ill-grounded  fears,  and  vain  expectations :  in  short,  it  is  weakness,  attended  with  unea- 
siness and  dread,  and  productive  of  confusion  and  horror.  Every  one  knows  the  mischiefs  Su- 
perstition has  produced  in  the  World  :  Gods  of  all  sorts  and  kinds ;  sacrifices  of  Beasts  and  Men  ; 
rites,  ceremonies,  and  postures ;  antic  tricks  and  cruel  torments  ;  with  every  other  thing  which, 
from  time  to  time,  has  been  falsely  called  by  the  name  of  Religion,  have  arose  from  hence.  It 
took  its  rise  early  in  the  World,  and  soon  spread  itself  over  the  face  of  the  Earth;  and  few,  very 
few,  were  there  who  were  wholly  free  from  it.  The  doctrine  of  Christ,  indeed,  was  calculated  to 
destroy  its  dominion  and  to  restore  Religion  to  its  original  lustre: — Yet,  notwithstanding  this, 
Superstition  very  soon  found  an  entrance  among  Christians,  and  at  length  encreased  to  an 
enormous  size.  The  reformation  of  Religion,  and  the  revival  of  Letters,  were  somewhat  un- 
friendly to  it :  but  whether  it  be  the  craft  of  those  who  subsist  by  the  credulity  and  ignorance  of 
others,  or  whether  it  be  a  proneness  in  men  to  Superstition,  or  their  laziness  and  inattention  to 
other  than  sensible  objects  ;  I  say,  whether  it  be  owing  to  one  or  all  of  these  causes,  Superstition 
remained  still  alive,  and  shewed  itself  even  among  those  who  gloried  that  they  had  got  rid  of  the 
papal  yoke." 

«  A  sensible  Writer  in  the  Gent.  Mag.  for  July  1733,  vqj.  liii.  p.  577.  says:  "  I  have  often 
wished  to  know  the  first  foundation  of  several  popular  Customs,  appropriated  to  particular 
Seasons,  and  been  led  to  think,  however  widely  they  may  have  deviated  from  their  original  design 
and  meaning,  of  which  we  have  now  wholly  lost  sight,  they  are  derived  from  some  religious 
Tenets,  Observances,  or  Ceremonies.  I  am  convinced  that  this  is  the  case  in  Catholic  Countries, 
where  suchlike  popular  Usages,  as  well  as  religious  Ceremonies  are  more  frequent  than  amongst 


PREFACE.  XI 

We  shall  not  wonder  that  these  were  able  to  survive  the  Reformation, 
when  we  consider  that  though  our  own  sensible  and  spirited  Fore- 
fathers were,  upon  conviction,  easily  induced  to  forego  religious  Tenets 
which  had  been  weighed  in  the  balance  and  found  wanting ;  yet  were 
the  bulk  of  the  people  by  no  means  inclined  to  annihilate  the  seemingly 
innocent  Ceremonies  of  their  former  superstitious  Faith.  These,  con- 
secrated to  the  fancies  of  the  multitude,  by  an  usage  from  time  imme- 
morial, though  crazed  by  public  authority  from  the  written  ff^ord, 
were  committed  as  a  venerable  deposit  to  the  keeping  of  Oral  Tradition; 
and,  like  the  Penates  of  another  Troy,  recently  destroyed,  were  re- 
ligiously brought  off,  after  having  been  snatched  out  of  the  smoking 
ruins  of  Popery. 

It  is  not  improbable,  indeed,  but  that,  in  the  Infancy  of  Pro- 
testantism, the  continuance  of  many  of  them  was  connived  at  by  the 
State f.  For  men,  who  "  are  but  children  of  a  larger  growth,"  are 
not  to  be  weaned  all  at  once ;  and  the  Reformation  both  of  Manners 
and  Religion  is  always  most  surely  established  when  effected  by  slow 
degrees,  and,  as  it  were,  imperceptible  gradations. 

Thus  also,  at  the  first  promulgation  of  Christianity  to  the  Gentile 
Nations,  though  the  new  Converts  yielded  through  the  force  of  Truth 
to  conviction,  yet  they  could  not  be  persuaded  to  relinquish  many  of 
their  Superstitions,  which,  rather  than  forego  altogether,  they  chose 
to  blend  and  incorporate  with  their  new  Faith. 

And  hence  it  is  that  Christian,  or  rather  Papal  Rome,  has  borrowed 

us ;  though  there  can  be  little  doubt  but  that  the  Customs  I  refer  to,  and  which  we  retain,  took 
their  rise  whilst  these  Kingdoms  were  wholly  Catholic,  immersed  in  Ignorance  and  Superstition." 
See  a  farther  quotation  from  this  Writer's  Remarks  under  the  head  of  SHERE  THURSDAY, 
vol.  i.  p.  128. 

(  It  is  wittily  observed  by  Fuller,  Ch.  Hist.  p.  375,  that,  as  careful  Mothers  and  Nurees,  on 
condition  they  can  get  their  Children  to  part  with  knives,  are  contented  to  let  them  play  with 
rattles ;  so  they  permitted  ignorant  people  still  to  retain  some  of  their  fond  and  foolish  Customs., 
that  they  might  remove  from  them  the  most  dangerous  and  destructive  Superstitions. 


PREFACE. 


her  Rites,  Notions,  and  Ceremonies,  in  the  most  luxuriant  abundance, 
from  Ancient  and  Heathen  Rome  5,  and  that  much  the  greater  number 
of  those  flaunting  Externals  which  Infallibility  has  adopted  by  way  of 
Feathers  to  adorn  the  triple  Cap,  have  been  stolen  out  of  the  wings  of 
the  dying  Eagle. 

With  regard  to  the  Rites,  Sports,  &c.  of  the  common  people,  I  am 
aware  that  the  morose  and  bigoted  part  of  mankind11,  without  distin- 

*  In  proof  of  this  assertion,  see  Dr.  Middleton's  curious  Letter  from  Rome. 
h  I  shall  quote  here  the  subsequent  curious  Thoughts  on  this  subject:  it  scarcely  need  be  ob- 
served that  the  Puritans  are  ridiculed  in  them : 

"  These  teach  that  Dancing  is  a  Jezabell, 
And  Barley-Break  the  ready  way  to  Hell ; 
The  Morice  Idols,  Whitsun-Ales  can  be 
But  prophane  reliques  of  a  Jubilee : 
These  in  a  zeal  t'expresse  how  much  they  do 
The  Organs  hate,  have  silenc'd  Bagpi|)es  too ; 
A$d  harmless  May-Poles  all  are  rail'd  upon, 
As  if  they  were  the  Tow'rs  of  Babylon." 

Randolph's  Poems,  1646. 

Lewis,  in  his  "  English  Presbyterian  Eloquence,"  8vo.  Lond.  1720,  p.  17,  speaking  of  the 
Enthusiasts  of  the  same  period,  says :  "  Under  the  censure  of  lewd  Customs,  they  included  all 
sorts  of  public  Sports,  Exercises,  and  Recreations,  how  innocent  soever— nay,  the  poor  Rose- 
mary and  Bays,  and  Christmas-Pye,  is  made  an  abomination." 

In  "  A  Disputation  betwixt  the  Devill  and  the  Pope,"  &c.  4to.  Lond.  1642,  Signat.  A  3,  to  the 
Pope's  enquiry,  "  What  factious  Spirits  doe  in  England  dwell?"  The  Devil  answers : 
"  Few  of  your  party  j  they  are  gone  as  wide, 
As  most  report,  and  mad  on  t'other  side ; 
There,  all  your  Bookes  and  Beads  are  counted  toyes, 
Altars  and  Tapers  are  pull'd  downe  by  Boyes, 
Discord  they  say  doth  so  possesse  the  Land, 
Tis  thought  they  will  not  let  the  Organs  stand, 
The  cleane-washt  Surples  which  our  Priests  put  on, 
There  is  the  Smock  o1  th'  Whore  of  Babylon, 
And  I  have  had  report  by  those  have  seen  them, 
They  breake  the  windows  'cause  the  Saints  are  in  them  -. 
***** 

A  Taylor  must  not  sit  with  legs  on  crosse, 


PREFACE.  X1U 

guishing  between  the  right  use  and  the  abuse  of  such  Entertainments, 
cavil  at  and  malign  them  :  yet  must  such  be  told  that  Shows  and  Sports 
have  been  countenanced  in  all  ages,  and  that  too  by  the  best  and  wisest 
of  States ;  and  though  it  cannot  be  denied  that  they  have  sometimes 
been  prostituted  to  the  purposes  of  Riot  and  Debauchery,  yet,  were  we 
to  reprobate  every  thing  that  has  been  thus  abused,  Religion  itself 
could  not  be  retained :  perhaps,  indeed,  we  should  be  able  to  keep 
nothing. 

The  common  people,  confined  by  daily  labour,  seem  to  require  their 
proper  intervals  of  relaxation ;  perhaps  it  is  of  the  highest  political 
utility  to  encourage  innocent  Sports  and  Games  among  them.  The 
revival  of  many  of  these,  would,  I  think,  be  highly  pertinent  at  this 
particular  juncture,  when  the  general  spread  of  Luxury  and  Dissi- 
pation threatens  more  than  at  any  preceding  period  to  extinguish  the 
character  of  our  boasted  national  bravery.  For  the  observation  of  an 
honest  old  Writer,  Stow,  (who  tells  us,  speaking  of  the  May  Games, 

But  straite  he 's  set  by  th'  heeles  (it  is  a  signe 
Of  ceremony  only,  not  divine)."  * 

So  in  the  Welsh  Levite  tossed  in  a  Blanket,  &c.  4to.  Lond.  1691 :  "  I  remember  the  blessed 
times,  when  every  thing  in  the  World  that  was  displeasing  and  offensive  to  the  Brethren  went 
under  the  name  of  horrid  abominable  Popish  Superstition.  Organs  and  May  Poles,  Bishops 
Courts  and  the  Bear  Garden,  Surplices  and  long  Hair,  Cathedrals  and  Play  Houses,  Set-Forms 
and  Painted  Glass,  Fonts  and  Apostle  Spoons,  Church  Musick  and  Bull-baiting,  Altar  Rails  and 
Rosemary  on  Brawn,  nay  Fiddles,  Whitson  Ale,  Pig  at  Bartholomew  Fair,  Plum  Porrige,  Puppet 
Shows,  Carriers  Bells,  Figures  in  Gingerbread,  and  at  last  Moses  and  Aaron,  the  Decalogue,  the 
Creeds,  and  the  Lord's  Prayer,"  p.  16.  Again :  "  A  Crown,  a  Cross,  an  Angel,  and  Bishop'* 
Head,  could  not  be  endured,  so  much  as  in  a  Sign.  Our  Garters,  Bellows,  and  Warming  Pans 
wore  godly  Mottos,  our  Bandboxes  were  lined  with  wholsome  Instructions,  and  even  our 
Trunks  with  the  Assembly-men's  Sayings.  Ribbons  were  converted  into  Bible-Strings."  "  Nay, 
in  our  zeal  we  visited  the  Gardens  and  Apothecary's  Shops.  Unguentum  Apostolicum,  Carduut 
benedictus,  Angelica,  St.  John's  Wort,  and  Our  Ladies  Thistle,  were  summoned  before  a  Class, 
and  commanded  to  take  new  Names."  "  We  uasainted  the  Apostles."  Ibid. 

*  See  more  of  the  puritan  detestation  of  the  Cross-form  in  vol.  i.  p.  132. 


XIV  PREFACE. 

Midsummer  Eve  Rejoicings,  &c.'  antiently  used  in  the  Streets  of 
London,  "  which  open  pastimes k  in  my  youth  being  now  supprest, 
worse  practices  within  doors  are  to  be  feared,)"  may  with  too  singular 
propriety  be  adopted  on  the  most  transient  survey  of  our  present  po- 
pular Manners !. 

Bourne,  my  predecessor  in  this  Walk,  has  not,  from  whatever  cause, 
done  justice  to  the  subject  he  undertook  to  treat  of.  Let  it  not  be  im- 
puted to  me  that  I  am  so  vain  as  to  think  that  I  have  exhausted  it,  for 
the  utmost  of  my  pretensions  is  to  the  merit  of  having  endeavoured,  by 
making  additions  and  alterations,  to  methodize  and  improve  it.  I  think 
it  justice  to  add  too,  that  he  was  deserving  of  no  small  share  of  praise 
for  his  imperfect  attempt,  for  "  much  is  due  to  those  who  first  broke 
the  way  to  knowledge,  and  left  only  to  their  successors  the  task  of 
smoothing  it." 

New  and  very  bright  Lights  have  appeared  since  his  time.  The 
English  Antique  has  become  a  general  and  fashionable  study  :  and  the 
discoveries  of  a  chartered  Society  of  Antiquaries,  patronized  by  the  best 
of  Monarchs,  and  boasting  among  its  Members  some  of  the  greatest 

1  I  call  to  mind  here  the  pleasing  Account  Sterne  has  left  us,  in  his  Sentimental  Journey,  of  the 
Grace  Dance  after  Supper.  1  agree  with  that  amiable  Writer  in  thinking  that  Religion  may  mix 
herself  in  the  Dance,  and  that  innocent  Cheerfulness  forms  no  inconsiderable  part  of  Devotion ; 
sxicb,  indeed,  cannot  fail  of  being  grateful  to  the  Good  Being,  as  it  is  a  silent,  but  eloquent  mode 
of  praising  him. 

k  "  The  Youths  of  this  City,"  he  says,  "  have  used,  on  holidays,  after  Evening  Prayer,  at  their 
Masters'  doors,  to  exercise  their  Wasters  and  Bucklers :  and  the  Maidens,  one  of  them  playing  on 
a  Timbrel,  in  sight  of  their  Masters  and  Dames,  to  dance  for  Garlands  hanged  athwart  the 
Streets."  Strype's  edit,  of  Stow's  Survey,  Book  i.  p.  251. 

1  The  Rev.  Mr.  Ledwich,  in  his  Statistical  Account  of  the  Parish  of  Aghaboe  in  the  Queen's 
County,  Ireland,  Svo.  Dubl.  1796,  tells  us,  p.  95  :  "  A  delineation  of  the  Customs  and  Manners 
of  the  People  of  this  Parish  would  seem  to  be  a  proper  and  interesting  Addition  to  this  Work. 
This  I  should  have  attempted  did  their  peculiarity  demand  notice.  The  national  character  of  the 
original  Natives  M,  with  us,  entirely  lost.  Their  diversions  of  Foot  Ball  and  Hurling  are  seldom 
practised,  or  their  antient  Customs  at  Marriages  and  Intermenta."  It  must  not,  however,  be 
dissembled,  that  the  learned  Writer  is  of  opinion  that  the  change  is  for  the  better. 


PUEFACE.  XV 

ornaments  of  the  British  Empire,  have  rendered  the  recesses  both  of 
papal  and  heathen  Antiquities  much  easier  of  access. 

I  shall  presume  to  flatter  myself  that  I  have,  in  some  measure,  turned 
all  these  circumstances  to  advantage.  I  have  gleaned  passages  that 
seemed  to  throw  light  upon  the  subject,  as  my  numberless  citations  will 
evince,  from  an  immense  variety  of  Volumes  both  printed  and  ma- 
nuscript ;  and  those  written  too  in  several  languages :  in  the  doing  of 
which,  if  I  shall  not  be  found  to  have  deserved  the  praise  of  Judgement, 
I  must  at  least  make  pretensions  to  the  merit  of  Industry. 

Elegance  of  Composition  will  hardly  be  expected  in  a  Work  of  this 
nature  m,  which  seems  to  stand  much  less  in  need  of  Attic  Wit  than  of 
Roman  Perseverance,  or,  if  we  glance  at  modern  times,  of  Dutch 
Assiduity. 

I  shall  offer  many  Discoveries  which  are  peculiarly  my  own,  for  there 
are  not  a  few  Customs  yet  retained  in  the  North,  where  I  spent  the 
earliest  part  of  my  life,  of  which  I  am  persuaded  the  learned  in  the 
Southern  parts  of  our  Island  have  hardly  once  heard  mention,  which  is 
perhaps  the  sole  cause  why  they  have  never  before  been  investigated. 

I  have,  once  for  all,  to  premise  that,  in  perusing  the  subsequent  Ob- 
servations, the  candid  Reader,  who  has  never  before  considered  this 
neglected  subject,  is  particularly  requested  not  to  be  rash  in  passing 
sentence ;  but  to  suspend  his  judgement,  at  least  till  he  has  carefully 
examined  all  the  evidence ;  by  which  caution  let  it  not  be  understood 
that  my  determinations  are  in  any  degree  thought  to  be  infallible,  or 
that  every  decision  to  be  found  in  the  following  pages  is  not  amenable 

*  In  general  it  may  be  observed,  that  Readers,  provided  with  keen  Appetites  for  this  kind  of 
Entertainment,  must  content  themselves  with  the  homely  manner  of  serving  it  up  to  them.  In- 
deed squeamishne.ss  in  this  particular,  would,  in  a  variety  of  instances,  suit  but  ill  with  the  study 
of  ,the  English  Antique.  For  it  must  be  confessed,  that  a  great  deal  of  wholesome  meat  of  this 
sort  has  ever  been  brought  on  upon  wooden  platters,  and  very  nice  guests,  it  is  to  be  feared,  will 
think  that  our  famous  old  Cook,  Thomas  Hearne,  himself,  was  but  a  very  slovenly  and  greasy 
v  kind  of  Host. 


XVI  PREFACE. 

to  higher  authorities  :  in  the  mean  time  Prejudice  may  be  forewarned, 
and  it  will  apologize  for  many  seemingly  trivial  Reasons,  assigned  for 
the  beginning  and  transmitting  of  this  or  that  popular  Notion  or  Ce- 
remony, to  reflect,  that  what  may  appear  foolish  to  the  enlightened 
Understandings  of  Men  in  the  Eighteenth  Century,  wore  a  very  dif- 
ferent aspect  when  viewed  through  the  gloom  that  prevailed  in  the 
seventh  or  eighth. 

I  should  trespass  on  the  patience  of  my  Reader,  were  I  to  enumerate 
all  the  Books  I  have  consulted  on  this  occasion  ;  to  which,  however,  I 
shall  take  care,  in  their  proper  places,  to  refer:  but  I  own  myself  under 
particular  obligations  to  Durand's  Ritual  of  Divine  Offices  n,  a  Work 
inimical  to  every  idea  of  rational  Worship,  but  to  the  Enquirer  into  the 
Origin  of  our  popular  Ceremonies,  an  invaluable  Magazine  of  the  most 
interesting  Intelligence.  I  would  style  this  performance  the  great  Ce- 
remonial Law  of  the  Romanists,  in  comparison  with  which  the  Mosaic 
Code  is  barren  of  Rites  and  Ceremonies.  We  stand  amazed  on  perusing 
it,  at  the  enormous  weight  of  a  new  Yoke,  which  Holy  Church,  fa- 
bricating with  her  own  hands,  had  imposed  on  her  antient  Devotees0. 

"  This  curious  Book  is  the  Fountain-head  of  all  Ecclesiastical  Rites  and  Ceremonies.  It  was 
printed  at  Mentz  so  early  as  1459.  See  Fabricii  Bibliotheca  mediae  &  infimse  /Etatis,  edit.  8vo. 
1734,  vol.  ii.  p.  206,  and  Maittaire's  Annales  Typogr.  vol.  i.  p.  271.  Pars  prior. 

0  It  is  but  justice  to  own  that  the  modern  Roman  Catholics  disclaim  the  greater  number  of 
those  superstitious  Notions  and  Ceremonies  equally  the  misfortune  and  disgrace  of  our  Forefathers 
;n  the  dark  Ages. 

In  a  most  curious  Sermon  preached  at  Blandford  Forum,  Dorsetshire,  Jan.  17,  1570,  by 
William  Kethe,  Minister,  and  dedicated  to  Ambrose  Earl  of  Warwick,  8vo.  p.  18,  speaking  of 
the  Jews,  he  says,.  "  for  the  Synnes  they  daylie  committed,  they  would  be  very  busie  in  offryng 
Sacrifices  and  exercising  themselves  in  Ceremonies;"  adding,  "  a  lyke  kynde  of  policie  was  prac- 
tised by  the  Papistes  in  the  tyme  of  Poperie  (in  England)  to  bynde  God  to  forgeve  them  theyr 
Sinnes.  For  whereas,  in  the  tyme  of  Christmasse,  the  disorders  were  marvelous  in  those  dayes, 
(and  how  it  is  now  God  seeth,)  at  Candlemasse,  which  some  counte  the  ende  of  Christmasse,  the 
Papistes  would  be  even  with  God,  by  the  tyme  [they  had  offered  hym  a  Bribe,  and  such  a  Bribe 
(beyng  a  Candle  or  Taper)  as  a  very  meane  officer  would  take  foule  scorae  of,  though  he  could 
do  a  man  but  small  pleasure  in  his  sute.  Shroft  Tuesday  was  a  day  of  great  Glottonie,  Surfeiting, 


PREFACE.  XV11 

Yet  the  forgers  of  these  Shackles  had  artfully  enough  contrived  to 
make  them  sit  easy,  by  twisting  Flowers  around  them  :  dark  as  this 
picture,  drawn  by  the  pencil  of  gloomy  Superstition,  appeared  upon  the 
whole,  yet  was  its  deep  shade  in  many  places  contrasted  with  pleasing 
Lights. 

The  Calendar  was  crowded  with  Red-Letter  Days,  nominally  indeed 
consecrated  to  Saints  ;  but  which,  by  the  encouragement  of  Idleness  and 
Dissipation  of  Manners,  gave  every  kind  of  countenance  to  Sinners. 

A  profusion  of  childish  Rites,  Pageants,  and  Ceremonies,  diverted  the 
attention  of  the  people  from  the  consideration  of  their  real  state,  and 
kept  them  in  humour,  if  it  did  not  sometimes  make  them  in  love,  with 
their  slavish  modes  of  worship. 

To  the  credit  of  our  sensible  and  manly  Forefathers,  they  were 
among  the  first  who  felt  the  weight  of  this  new  and  unnecessary  Yoke, 
and  had  spirit  enough  to  throw  it  off. 

I  have  fortunately  in  my  possession  one  of  those  antient  Roman  Ca- 
lendars, of  singular  curiosity,  which  contains  under  the  immoveable 
Feasts  and  Fasts,  (I  regret  much  its  silence  on  the  moveable  ones,)  a 
variety  of  brief  Observations,  contributing  not  a  little  to  the  elucidation 
of  many  of  our  popular  Customs,  and  proving  them  to  have  been  sent 

and  Dronkennes,  but  by  Ashe  Wensday  at  night,  they  thought  God  to  be  in  their  debt.  On  Good 
Friday,  they  offered  unto  Christe  Egges  and  Bacon  to  be  in  hys  favour  till  Easter  Day  was  past. 
The  Sinnes  committed  betwene  Easter  and  Whytsontyde  they  were  fullye  discharged  by  the  plea- 
saunt  Walkes  and  Processyons  in  the  rogyng,  I  should  say  Rogation  Weeke.  What  offences  soever 
happened  from  that  tyme  to  Midsomroer,.  the  fumes  of  the  Fiers  dedicated  to  John,  Peter,  and 
Thomas  Becket  the  Traytor,  consumed  them.  And  as  for  all  disorders  from  that  tyme  to  the  be- 
gynnyng  of  Christmasse  agayne,  they  were  in  this  Countrey  all  roonge  away,  upon  All  Halloun 
Day  and  All  Soule's  Day  at  night  last  past."  He  adds,  at  p.  20,  "  So  sayth  God  to  the  brybyng 
Papistes,  who  requireth  these  thynges  at  your  handes  whiche  I  never  commaundcd,  as  your 
Candles  at  Candlemasse,  your  Popish  Penaunce  on  Ash  Wensday,  your  Egges  and  Bacon  on  Good 
Friday,  your  Gospelles  at  superstitious  Crosses,  decked  lyke  Idols,  your  Fires  at  Midsommer,  and 
your  ringyng  at  Allhallountide  for  all  Christen  Soules  ?  I  require,  sayth  God,  a  sorrowfull  and  re- 
pentaunt  hart,  to  be  mercyfull  to  the  poore,  &c." 
VOL.  J.  C 


XV111  PREFACE. 

over  from  Rome,  with  Bulls,  Indulgences,  arid  other  Baubles,  bartered, 
as  it  should  seem,  for  our  Peter  Pence,  by  those  who  trafficked  in  spi- 
ritual Merchandize  from  the  Continent. 

These  I  shall  carefully  translate,  (though  in  some  places  it  is  ex- 
tremely difficult  to  render  the  very  barbarous  Latin,  in  which  they  are 
written,  the  barbarity,  brevity,  and  obscurity  of  which  I  fear  the  Critic 
will  think  I  have  transfused  into  my  own  English,)  and  lay  before  my 
Reader,  who  will,  at  once,  see  and  acknowledge  their  utility. 

A  learned  performance  by  a  Physician  in  the  time  of  King  James  the 
first,  and  dedicated  to  that  Monarch,  is  also  luckily  in  my  Library :  it 
is  written  in  Latin  and  entitled  "  The  Popedom,  or  the  Origin  and  In- 
crease of  Depravity  in  Religion  p  ;"  containing  a  very  masterly  parallel 
between  the  Rites,  Notions,  &c.  of  Heathen,  and  those  of  Papal  Rome. 

The  copious  Extracts  from  this  Work,  with  which  I  shall  adorn  and 
enlighten  the  following  pages,  will  form  their  truest  commendation,  and 
supersede  my  poor  encomiums. 

When  I  call  Gray  to  remembrance,  the  Poet  of  Humanity,  who,  had 
he  left  no  other  works  behind  him,  would  have  transmitted  his  Name  to 
Immortality  by  Reflections  written  among  the  little  Tomb-stones  of  the 
Vulgar,  in  a  Country  Church-Yard ;  I  am  urged  by  no  false  shame  to 
apologize  for  the  seeming  unimportance  of  my  subject. 

The  Antiquities  of  the  Common  People  cannot  be  studied  without 
acquiring  some  useful  knowledge  of  Mankind:  and  it  may  be  truly  said 
in  this  instance  that  by  the  chemical  process  of  Philosophy,  even  Wis- 


•>  "Papatus,  seu  depravatae  Religionis  Ongo  et  Increment™  j  summa  fide  diligentiaque  e 
(JenUlitatis  su*  fontibus  eruta  :  ut  fere  nihil  sit  in  hoc  genus  cultu,  quod  non  sit  promptmn  ex 
Insce,  meis  reddere  suis  authoribus:  ut  restitutae  Evangelic*  Religionis,  quam  profitemur,  simpli- 
cUas,  fucis  aniotis,  suatn  aliquando  integritatem  apud  omnes  testatam  faciat  per  Thomam  More- 
sinum  Aberdonanum,  Doctorem  Medicum.  Edinburgi  excudebat  Robertus  Waldegrave  Ty- 
pographus  Regius,  Anno  M.D.XCIIII.  Cum  privilegio  Regali."  'A  small  octavo:  most  ex- 
tremely  rare. 


PREFACE.  XIX 

dom  may  be  extracted  from  the  Follies  and  Superstitions  of  our  Fore- 
fathers'1. 

9  Monsieur  Bergerac,  in  his  Satyrical  Characters,  and  handsome  Descriptions  in  Letters,  translated 
out  of  the  French  by  a  person  of  Honour,  8vo.  Lond.  1658.  p.  45.  puts  into  the  mouth  of  a  Magician 
the  following1  very  curious  Catalogue  of  Superstitions  on  the  Continent :  "I  teach  the  Shepherd  the 
Woolf s  Pater-Noster,  and  to  the  Cunning  Men  how  to  turne  the  Sieve ;  I  send  St.  Hermes  Fire 
to  the  Marches  and  Rivers,  to  drown  Travellers,  I  make  the  Fairies  to  dance  by  Moon-light,  I  en- 
courage the  Gamesters  to  look  under  the  Gallows  for  the  Foure  of  Clubs.  I  send  at  Midnight  the 
Ghosts  out  of  the  Churchyard,  wrapt  in  a  Sheet,  to  demand  of  their  Heires  the  performance  of  those 
Vows  and  Promises  they  made  to  them  at  their  Deaths  ;  I  command  the  Spirits  to  haunt  the  unin- 
habited Castles,  and  to  strangle  those  that  come  to  lodge  there,  till  some  resolute  fellow  compels  them 
to  discover  to  him  the  Treasure.  I  make  those  that  I  will  enrich  find  hidden  Wealth.  I  cause  the 
Thieves  to  burne  Candles  of  dead  Men's  grease,  to  lay  the  Hoasts  asleep  while  they  rob  their 
Houses ;  I  give  the  flying  Money,  that  returnes  again  to  the  Pocket  after  'tis  spent ;  I  give  those 
Annulets  to  Foot-men  that  enable  them  to  go  two  hundred  miles  a  day;  'Tis  I,  that  invisible, 
tumble  the  Dishes  and  Bottles  up  and  downe  the  House  without  breaking,  or  spoiling  them.  I 
teach  old  Women  to  cure  a  Feaver  by  Words.  I  waken  the  country  Fellow  on  St.  John's  Eve  to 
gather  his  Hcarb,  fasting  and  in  silence.  I  teach  the  Witches  to  take  the  forme  of  Woolves  and 
eate  Children,  and  when  any  one  hath  cut  off  one  of  their  Legs  (which  proves  to  be  a  Man's 
arme)  1  forsake  them  when  they  are  discovered,  and  leave  them  in  the  power  of  Justice.  I  send 
to  discontented  persons  a  tall  black  Man,  who  makes  them  promises  of  great  Riches  and  other 
felicities  if  they'll  give  themselves  to  him.  I  blind  them  that  take  Contracts  of  him,  and  when  they 
demand  thirty  years  time,  I  make  them  see  the  (3)  before  the  (O)  which  I  have  placed  after  :  'Tis 
1  that  strangle  those  that  when  they  have  called  me  up,  give  me  a  haire,  an  old  shoe,  or  a  straw. 
I  take  away  from  those  dedicated  Churches  the  Stones  that  have  not  been  paid  for.  I  make  the 
Witches  seem  to  those  that  are  invited  to  Sabat  nothing  but  a  Troope  of  Cats,  of  which  Marcou 
(a  Gib  Cat)  is  prince.  I  send  all  the  Confederates  to  the  Offering,  and  give  them  the  Goates  taile 
(seated  on  a  Joint-stoole)  to  kisse.  I  treate  them  splendidly  but  give  them  no  Salt  to  their  Meat ; 
and  if  any  Stranger,  ignorant  in  the  Customes,  gives  God  thanks,  I  cause  all  things  to  vanish  and 
leave  him  five  hundred  miles  from  his  ovvne  home,  in  a  Desart  full  of  Nettles  and  Thornes.  I  send 
to  old  Letchers  beds  Succubusses,  and  to  the  whorish,  Incubusscs.  I  convay  Hob-goblins  in  shape 
of  a  long  piece  of  Marble,  to  lye  by  those  that  went  to  Bed  without  making  the  signe  of  the  Crosse. 
I  teach  Negromancers  to  destroy  their  Enemies,  by  making  a  little  Image  in  vvaxe,  which  they 
throwing  into  the  Fire,  or  pricking,  the  original  is  sensible  of  those  Torments  that  they  expose 
the  Image  to.  I  make  Witches  insensible  in  those  parts  where  the  Ram  hath  set  his  Seale.  I  give 
a  secret  virtue  to  Nolite  fieri,  when  'tis  said  backwards,  that  it  hinders  the  Butter  from  coming.  I 
teach  Husbandmen  to  lay  under  the  Grounds  of  that  Sheep-fold  which  he  hath  a  mind  to  destroy, 
a  Lock  of  Haire,  or  a  Toade,  with  three  Curses,  that  destroyes  all  the  Sheep  that  passe,  over  it. 
I  teach  the  Shepherds  to  tye  a  Bridegroomes  point  the  Marriage  Day,  when  the  Priest  saves  Con- 


XX  PREFACE. 

The  People,  of  whom  Society  is  chiefly  composed,  and  for  whose 
good  all  superiority  of  Rank,  indispensably  necessary  as  it  is  in  every 

juncgo  Vo$.  1  give  that  Mony  that  is  found  by  the  leaves  of  an  old  Oak.  I  lend  Magitians  a 
Familiar  that  keepes  them  for  undertaking  any  thing  without  leave  from  Robin  Good-fellow. 
I  teach  how  to  breake  the  Charmes  of  a  person  bewitcht,  to  kneade  the  triangular  Cake  of  Saint 
Woolfe,  and  to  give  it  in  almes  to  the  first  poore  Body.  I  cure  sick  persons  of  the  Hob-thrush,  by 
giving  them  a  blow  with  a  Forke  just  between  the  two  Eyes.  I  make  the  Witches  sensible  of  the 
blowes  that  are  given  them  with  an  Elder-stick.  I  let  loose  the  Hob-goblin  at  the  advents  of 
Christmas ;  and  command  him  to  rowle  a  Barrel!,  or  draw  a  Chaine  along  the  Streets,  that  he 
may  wring  off  their  Necks  that  look  out  at  the  Window.  I  teach  the  composition  of  the  Charms, 
Scales,  Talismans,  Spells,  of  the  Magique  Looking  Glasses,  and  of  the  inchanted  Figures.  I  teach 
them  to  find  the  Misseltoe  of  the  New  Yeare,  the  wandring  Hearbs,  the  Gamahely  and  the  mag- 
netique  plaster.  1  send  the  Goblins,  the  shod-Mule,  the  Spirits,  the  Hob-goblins,  the  Haggs, 
the  Night  bats,  the  Scrags,  the  Breake-Neekes,  the  black  Men  and  the  white  Women,  the  Fan- 
tasms,  the  Apparitions,  the  Scar-Crowes,  the  Bug-beares,  and  the  Shaddowes  :  in  fine,  I  am  the 
Dlvel  of  Vauvert,  the  Jew-errant,  and  the  grant  Huntsman  of  Fountain-bleau  Forrest." 

In  the  Statistical  Account  of  Scotland,  vol.Lx.  8vo.  Edinb.  1793.  p.  253.  Parish  of  Clunie,  co.  of 
Perth,  the  Inhabitants,  we  are  told,  "  are  not,  as  formerly,  the  dupes  of  superstitious  credulity.  Many 
old  useless  rites  and  ceremonies  are  laid  aside.  Little  attention  is  paid  to  Bug-bear  Tales.  Supersti- 
tions, Charms,  and  Incantations  have  lost  their  power.  Cats,  Hares,  Magpies,  and  old  Women 
cease  to  assume  any  other  appearance  than  what  Nature  has  given  them  :  and  Ghosts,  Goblins, 
Witches,  and  Fairies  have  relinquished  the  Land." 

In  the  same  Volume,  p.  328.  Parish  of  Tongland,  co.  of  Kircudbright ;  from  a  Statistical  Ac- 
count of  sixty  or  seventy  years  before,  we  learn  that  "  the  lower  class  in  general  were  tainted 
strongly  with  superstitious  Sentiments  and  Opinions,  which  had  been  transmitted  down,  from  one 
generation  to  another  by  Tradition.  They  firmly  believed  in  Ghosts,  Hobgoblins,  Fairies,  Elves, 
Witches  and  Wizards.  These  Ghosts  and  Spirits  often  appeared  to  them  at  Night.  They  used 
many  Charms  and  Incantations  to  preserve  themselves,  their  Cattle  and  Houses,  from  the  malevo- 
lence of  Witches,  Wizards,  and  evil  Spirits,  and  believed  in  the  beneficial  effects  of  these  Charms. 
They  believed  in  lucky  and  unlucky  Days  and  Seasons,  in  marrying  or  undertaking  any  impor- 
tant Business.  They  frequently  saw  the  Devil,  who  made  wicked  attacks  upon  them,  when  they 
were  engaged  in  their  religious  Exercises,  and  acts  of  Devotion.  They  believed  in  benevolent 
spirits  which  they  termed  Brownies,  who  went  about  in  the  night  time  and  performed  for  them 
some  part  of  their  domestic  labour,  such  as  threshing  and  winnowing  their  Corn,  spinning  and 
churning.  They  fixed  Branches  of  Mountain  Ash,  or  narrow-leaved  Service-Tree  above  the  Stakes 
of  their  Cattle,  to  preserve  them  from  the  evil  effects  of  Elves  and  Witches.  AH  these  supersti- 
tious Opinions  and  Observations,  which  they  firmly  believed,  and  powerfully  influenced  their 
actions,  are  of  late  years  almost  obliterated  among  the  present  Generation." 

Ibid,  vol.xiv.  p.  482.  Parish  of  Wigton,  co.  of  Wigton,  "  the  Spirit  of  Credulity,  which  arises 


PREFACE.  XXI 

Government1",  is  only  a  Grant,  made  originally  by  mutual  Concession, 
is  a  respectable  subject  to  every  one  who  is  the  Friend  of  Man. 

Pride,  which,  independent  of  the  Idea  arising  from  the  necessity  of 
civil  Polity,  has  portioned  out  the  human  Genus  into  such  a  variety  of 

out  of  Ignorance,  and  which  over-ran  the  country,  is  now  greatly  worn  away ;  and  the  belief 
in  Witches,   in  Fairies,   and  other  ideal   beings,  though  not  entirely   discarded,    is    gradually 

dying  out." 

'  "  Degree  being  vizarded, 

The  unworthiest  shows  as  fairly  in  the  mask. 
The  heavens  themselves,  the  planets,  and  this  center, 
Observe  degree,  priority,  and  place, 
Insisture,  course,  proportion,  season,  form, 
Office,  and  custom  in  all  line  of  order : 
And  therefore  is  the  glorious  planet,  Sol, 
In  noble  eminence  enthron'd  and  spher'd 
Amidst  the  other ;  whose  med'cinable  eye 
,    Corrects  the  ill  aspects  of  planets  evil, 

And  posts,  like  the  commandment  of  a  king, 

Sans  check,  to  good  and  bad  :  But,  when  the  planets, 

In  evil  mixture,  to  disorder  wander, 

What  plagues,  and  what  portents  ?  what  mutiny  ? 

What  raging  of  the  sea  ?  shaking  of  earth  ? 

Commotion  in  the  winds  ?  frights,  changes,  horrors, 

Divert  and  crack,  rend  and  deracinate 

The  unity  and  married  calm  of  states 

Quite  from  their  fixure  ?  O,  when  degree  is  shak'd, 

Which  is  the  ladder  of  all  high  designs, 

The  enterprize  is  sick  !  How  could  Communities, 

Degrees  in  Schools,  and  brotherhoods  in  Cities, 

Peaceful  commerce  from  dividable  shores, 

The  primogenitive  and  due  of  birth, 

Prerogative  of  age,  crowns,  sceptres,  laurels, 

But  by  degree,  stand  in  authentick  place  ? 

Take  but  degree  away,  untune  that  string, 

And,  hark,  what  discord  follows  !  each  thing  meets 

In  mere  oppugnancy  :  The  bounded  waters 

Should  lift  their  bosoms  higher  than  the  shores, 

And  make  a  sop  of  all  this  solid  Globe." 

Troil.  &  Cressida,  Act  i.  sc.  3. 


XXU  PREFACE. 

different  and  subordinate  Species,  must  be  compelled  to  own,  that  the 
lowest  of  these  derives  itself  from  an  Origin  common  to  it  with  the 
highest  of  the  kind. 

The  well-known  beautiful  Sentiment  of  Terence  : 

"  Homo  sum,  human!  nihil  a  me  alienum  puto," 

may  be  adopted  therefore  in  this  place,  to  persuade  us  that  nothing  can 
be  foreign  to  our  enquiry,  much  less  beneath  our  notice,  that  concerns 
the  smallest  of  the  Vulgar8 ;  of  those  little  Ones  who  occupy  the  lowest 
place,  though  by  no  means  of  the  least  importance  in  the  political  ar- 
rangement of  human  Beings. 

Somerset  Place, 

London, 
August  4th,  1795. 

'  "  These  several  particulars,  if  considered  separately,  may  appear  trifling  ;  but  taken  altoge- 
ther, they  form  no  inconsiderable  part  of  what  (with  only  some  slight  variations,)  the  Religion  of 
the  vulgar  will  always  be,  in  every  age,  and  in  every  stage  of  society,  and  indeed,  whatever  be  the 
Religion  which  they  profess,  unless  they  are  so  grossly  stupid,  or  so  flagitiously  immoral,  as  to  be 
incapable  of  feeling  the  restraints  of  any  System  of  Religion,  whether  rational  or  superstitious." 
Sir  John  Sinclair's  Statist.  Account  of  Scotland,  vol.  v.  p.  85. 


CONTENTS 


OF 

VOL.  I. 


Pagp. 

NEW  YEAR'S  EVE       ----.-...-------..-       i 

NEW  YEAR'S  DAY - --       8 

TWELFTH  DAY ..................is 

ST.  AGNES'S  DAY  or  EVE,  Jan.  21  st.       ---...-..     -.-32 
ST.  VINCENT'S  DAY,  /an.  22d.  ---------------34 

ST.  PAUL'S  DAY,  Jan.  25th. - 34 

CANDLEMAS  DAY,  Feb.  2d.        .........    ...-_.    .33 

ST.  BLAZE'S  DAY,  /V6.  3d. -..-45 

VALENTINE'S  DAY,  Fed.  14M.   ----------  ...47 

COLLOP  or  SHROVE  MONDAY    ---------------54 

SHROVE-TIDE,  or  SHROVE  TUESDAY  -------------56 

ASH-WEDNKSDAY  -------- 79 

ST.  DAVID'S  DAY,  March  1st. _..-86 

ST.  PATRICK'S  DAY,  March  nth -          --90 

MID-LENT  SUNDAY     92 

PALM  SUNDAY     ---_._-__..___-----     102 

ALL  FOOL'S  DAY,  April  1st. .."........     113 

SHERE  THURSDAY,  also  MAUNDY  THURSDAY     - 124 

GOOD  FRIDAY     ------_._---.-----.     128 

EASTER  EVE ______ --     135 

EASTER  DAY  - 137 

EASTER  EGGS i.  -.Mvv*'h    -------     142 

EASTER  HOLIDAYS    ------------------     1 50 

LIFTING  on  EASTER  HOLIDAYS 1>V*  ^ 155 

HOKE  DAY     --.---.--.--.....---     157 


XXIV  CONTENTS. 

Page. 

ST.  GEORGE'S  DAY,  April  23d.    -----------          --     165 

ST.  MARK'S  DAY  or  EVE,    ---        ____.-------     166 

PAROCHIAL  PERAMBULATIONS  in  Rogation  Week.     ASCENSION  DAY  or  HOLY 

THURSDAY ---167 

MAY  DAY  CUSTOMS      -----------------     179 

MAY  POLES ---193 

MORRIS  DANCERS  : 

Maid  Marian,  Queen  of  the  May  ----------     204 

Robin  Hood    -----------  ----212 

Friar  Tuck -          ---214 

The  Fool 215 

Scarlet,  Stokesley,  and  Little  John      ---------218 

Tom  the  Piper - 219 

The  Hobby  Horse 219 

ST.  URBAN'S  DAY.  May  25th ._.-     223 

ROYAL  OAK  DAY.     May  29th      ..............     223 

WHITSUNTIDE      ...................     226 

TRINITY,  or  TRINITY  SUNDAY,  EVEN -----     233 

EVE  of  THURSDAY  after  TRINITY  SUNDAY 233 

ST.  BARNABAS  DAY,  June  11  th     -------- 233 

ST.  VITUS'S  DAY.     June  \5th      - - 235 

CORPUS  CHRISTI  DAY,  and  PLAYS.    June  14th 235 

SUMMER  SOLSTICE.    Midsummer  Eve.     The  Vigil  of  St.  John  Baptist1  s  Day        238 
ST.  PETER'S  DAY.     June  29th      ..............     269 

ST.  ULRIC.    July  4th---------........    270 

ST.  SWITHIN'S  DAY.    July  \5th  - 271 

ST.  MARGARET'S  DAY.    July  20th     .............    273 

ST.  BRIDGET.    July  23d          -    -    -    - ___     273 

ST.  JAMES'S  DAY.    July  25th       ----- __._     274 

GULE  of  AUGUST,  commonly  called  LAMMASS  DAY 275 

ASSUMPTION  OF  THE  VIRGIN  MARY.    August  \sth 277 

ST.  ROCH'S  DAY.     August  \&th. 278 

ST.  BARTHOLOMEW'S  DAY.     August  24th        - --     ._-    279 

HOLY-ROOD-DAY.     Septemb.  Uth 279 

MICHAELMAS.    Septemb.  29th _          -281 


CONTENTS.  XXV 

Page, 

Michaelmas  Goose    --------------  295 

St.  Michael's  Cake  or  Bannock    -     -    - 297 

ST.  ETHELBURGH'S  DAY.     October  llth                                      -     -     -    -    -  299 

ST.  SIMON  and  ST.  JUDE'S  DAY.     October  28th.   -     -    -                               -  '299 

ALLHALLOW  EVEN    ----------               ------  300 

The  FIFTH  OF  NOVEMBER       -____--.------.  313 

MARTINMAS.     Novemb.  llth.         ___-----------313 

QUEEN  ELIZABETH'S  ACCESSION.     Novemb.  nth.   ---------318 

ST.  CLEMENT'S  DAY.    Novemb.  23d. 321 

ST.  CATHARINE'S  DAY*     Novemb.  25lh.       -----------  321 

ST.  ANDREW'S  DAY.     Novemb.  30th.      -     - 322 

ST.  NICHOLAS'S  DAY.     Decemb.  6th.      -     -     -          --------  324 

ON  THE  MONTEM  AT  ETON  ---------------  337 

CUSTOMS  A  LITTLE  BEFORE,  AT,  OR  ABOUT  CHRISTMAS.      ------  350 

Going  a  Goading  at  St.  Thomas's  Day     --------  350 

Hagmena      ----------------  350 

Mumming     ----------------  354 

OftheYvLZ  CLOG,  or  BLOCK,  burnt  on  CHRISTMAS  EVE     ------  359 

Of  the  Word  YULE,  formerly  used  to  signify  CHRISTMAS  -------  364 

Christmas  Carol       --------------  370 

Hobby  Horse  at  Christmas      --------  --382 

Christmas  Box        --------------  334 

SPORTS,  GAMES,  Kc.  at  CHRISTMAS  : 

Lord  of  Misrule       ___--------_._  337 

fool-Plough  and  Sword  Dance     ----------  395 

Decking  Churches,  Houses,  Kc.  with  Evergreens  at  Christmas  404 

Yule  Doughs,  Mince  Pies,   Christmas  Pies,  and  Plum  Porridge  410 

ST.  STEPHEN'S  DAY.     Decemb.  26th.      ------------  416 

ST.  JOHN  THE  EVANGELIST.    Decemb.  27th.    ----------419 

CHILDERMAS  or  HOLY  INNOCENTS'  DAY     -----------  421 

COUNTRY  WAKES,  called  also  FEASTS  OF  DEDICATION,  REVELLINGS,   RUSH- 
BEARINGS,  and  in  the  North  of  England  HOPPINGS      -------  422 

HARVEST  HOME,  alias  MELL  SUPPER,   KERN  or  CHURN  SUPPER,    or    FEAST 

of  INGATHERING     -----------.___._  439 

The  FEAST  OF  SHEEP  SHEARING       - 452 

SATURDAY  AFTERNOON       ------------,___  457 

VOL.  i.  d 


XXVI  CONTENTS. 

Page. 

THE  BORROWED  DAYS ____----_.    460 

DAYS  LUCKY  or  UNLUCKY       ---------------     453 

COCK  CROWING,  Time  of  the  Morning  so  called       -     --------     469 

STREWING  CHURCHES  with  FLOWERS  on  Days  of  Humiliation  and  Thanksgiving  476 

COCK-FIGHTING  ------------------      476 

BULL-RUNNING  in  the  Town  of  STAMFORD    -----------    483 

ADDITIONS  to  VOL.  I.   -----------------    486 


OBSERVATIONS 


otf 


popular  antiquities. 


NEW  YEAR'S  EVE. 

A  HERE  was  an  antient  custom,  which  is  yet  retained  in  many  places,  on 
New  Year's  Eve :  young  women  went  about  with  a  Wassail  Bowl  of  spiced 
ale  *,  with  some  sort  of  verses  that  were  sung  by  them  as  they  went  from  door 
to  door.  Wassail  is  derived  from  the  Anglo-Saxon  Fa3]-  feael,  be  in  health b. 

*  "  The  Wassel  Bowl,"  says  Warton,  "  is  Shakspeare's  Gossips'  Bowl  in  the  Midsummer  Night's 
Dream,  act  i.  sc.  1.  The  composition  was  ale,  nutmeg,  sugar,  toast,  and  roasted  crabs  or 
apples.  It  was  also  called  Lambs'  Wool."  See  Warton's  edit,  of  Milton's  Poems,  Lond.  1785, 
8vo.  p.  51,  note.  See  also  "  Beggar's  Bush,"  act.  iv.  sc.  4. 

"  A  massy  bowl,  to  deck  the  jovial  day, 

Flash'd  from  its  ample  round  a  sunlike  ray. 

Full  many  a  century  it  shone  forth  to  grace 

The  festive  spirit  of  th'  Andarton  race, 

As,  to  the  sons  of  sacred  union  dear, 

It  welcomed  with  Lambs'  Wool  the  rising  year." 

Polwhele's  Old  English  Gentleman,   p.  117. 

b  It  appears  from  Thomas  de  la  Moore  (Vita  Edw.  II.)  and  old  Havillan  (in  Architren.  lib.  2), 
that  Was-hailc  and  Drinc-heil  were  the  usual  antient  phrases  of  quaffing  among  the  English,  and 
synonirnous  with  the  "  Come,  here's  to  you,"  and  "  I'll  pledge  you,"  of  the  present  day. 
VOL.  I.  B 


2  NEW    YEAH  S    EVE. 

It  were  unnecessary  to  add,  that  they  accepted  little  presents  on  the  occasion 
from  the  houses  at  which  they  stopped  to  pay  this  annual  congratulation. 

The  learned  Selden,  in  his  Table-Talk  (article  Pope),  gives  a  good  descrip- 
tion of  it :  "  The  Pope,"  says  he,  "  in  sending  relicks  to  Princes,  does  as 
wenches  do  to  their  Wassels  at  New  Year's  tide — they  present  you  with  a  cup, 
and  you  must  drink  of  a  slabby  stuff,  but  the  meaning  is,  You  must  give  them 
money,  ten  times  more  than  it  is  worth0." 

Verstcgan  gives  the  subsequent  etymology  of  Wassail :  "  As  was  is  our  verb  of  the  preter- 
imperfect  tense,  or  preter-perfect  tense,  signifying  have  been,  so  was,  being  the  same  verb  in  the 
imperative  mood,  and  now  pronounced  Wax,  is  as  much  as  to  say  grow,  or  become;  and  Woes- 
heal  by  corruption  of  pronunciation  aftenvards  came  to  be  Wassail."  Restitution  of  Decayed 
Intelligence,  edit.  Lond.  1653,  8vo.  p.  101. 

Wasscl,  however,  is  sometimes  used  for  general  riot,  intemperance,  or  festivity.  See  Reed's 
edition  of  Shakspeare,  edit.  1803,  vol.  x.  p.  89;  vol.  xvii.  p.  49. 

Ben  Jonson  personifies  it  thus  :  "  Enter  Wassel  like  a  neat  sempster  and  songster,  her  page 
bearing  a  brown  bowl,  drest  with  ribbands  and  rosemary,  before  her." 

A  Wassel  candle  was  a  large  candle  lighted  up  at  a  feast.  See  Reed's  Shakspeare,  vol.  xii. 
p.  36,  note. 

e  The  following  is  a  note  of  the  same  learned  writer  on  the  Polyolbion,  song  9  :  "  I  see,"  says 
he,  "  a  custome  in  some  parts  among  us :  I  mean  the  yearly  Was-haile  in  the  country  on  the 
vigil  of  the  New  Yeare,  which  I  conjecture  was  a  usuall  ceremony  among  the  Saxons  before  Hen- 
gist,  as  a  note  of  health-wishing  (and  so  perhaps  you  might  make  it  Wish-heil),  which  was 
exprest  among  other  nations  in  that  form  of  drinking  to  the  health  of  their  mistresses  and  friends. 
"  Bene  vos,  bene  vos,  bene  te,  bene  me,  bene  nostram  etiam  Stephanium,"  in  Plautus,  and 
infinite  other  testimonies  of  that  nature  (in  him,  Martial,  Ovid,  Horace,  and  such  more),  agreeing 
nearly  with  the  fashion  now  used  :  we  calling  it  a  health,  as  they  did  also  in  direct  terms ;  which, 
with  an  idol  called  Heil,  antiently  worshipped  at  Cerne  in  Dorsetshire,  by  the  English  Saxons,  in 
name  expresses  both  the  ceremony  of  drinking  and  the  New  Yeare's  acclamation,  whereto  in 
some  parts  of  this  kingdom  is  joyned  also  solemnity  of  drinking  out  of  a  cup,  ritually  composed, 
deckt,  and  filled  with  country  liquor,"  &c. 
In  Herrick's  Hesperides,  p.  146,  we  read, 

"  Of  Christmas  sports,  the  WasseU  Boule, 

That  tost  up,  after  Fox-i'-th'-Hole ; 

Of  Blind-man-bttffe,  and  of  the  care 

That  young  men  have  to  shooe  the  Mare: 

Of  Ash-heapes,  in  the  which  ye  use 

Husbands  and  wives  by  streakes  to  chuse: 

Of  crackling  laurel],  which  fore-sounds 

A  plentious  harvest  to  your  grounds." 


NEW  YEAR'S  EV£.  3 

In  the  Antiquarian  Repertory  (vol.  i.  p.  218,  edit.  1775)  is  a  wood-cut  of 
a  large  oak  beam,  the  antient  support  of  a  chimney-piece,  on  which  is  carved  a 
large  bowl,  with  this  inscription  on  one  side,  "  Wass-heil." 

The  ingenious  remarker  on  this  representation  observes,  that  it  is  the  figure 
of  the  old  Wassel-Bowl,  so  much  the  delight  of  our  hardy  ancestors,  who  on 
the  vigil  of  the  New  Year  never  failed  to  assemble  round  the  glowing  hearth 
with  their  chearful  neighbours,  and  then  in  the  spicy  Wassel-Bowl  (which  testi- 
fied the  goodness  of  their  hearts)  drowned  every  former  animosity,  an  example 
worthy  modern  imitation.  fFassel  was  the  word,  IVassel  every  guest  returned 
as  he  took  the  circling  goblet  from  his  friend,  whilst  song  and  civil  mirth 
brought  in  the  infant  year. 

A  writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  (vol.  LIV.  for  May  1784,  p.  347) 
tells  us,  that  "  The  drinking  the  Wassail  Bowl  or  Cup  was,  in  all  probability, 
owing  to  keeping  Christmas  in  the  same  manner  they  had  before  the  Feast  of 
Yule.  There  was  nothing  the  Northern  nations  so  much  delighted  in  as  ca- 
rousing ale,  especially  at  this  season,  when  fighting  was  over.  It  was  likewise 
the  custom,  at  all  their  feasts,  for  the  master  of  the  house  to  fill  a  large  bowl  or 
pitcher,  and  drink  out  of  it  first  himself,  and  then  give  it  to  him  that  sat  next, 
and  so  it  went  round.  One  custom  more  should  be  remembered;  and  this  is, 
that  it  was  usual  some  years  ago,  in  Christmas  time,  for  the  poorer  people  to 
go  from  door  to  door  with  a  Wassail  Cup,  adorned  with  ribbons,  and  a  golden 
apple  at  the  top,  singing  and  begging  money  for  it;  the  original  of  which  was, 
that  they  also  might  procure  lamb's  wool  to  fill  it,  and  regale  themselves  as 
well  as  the"  rich  d." 

In  Ritson's  Antient  Songs,  Lond.  1790,  8vo,  p.  304,  is  given  "  A  Carrol 
for  a  Wassel  Bowl,  to  be  sung  upon  Twelfth  Day  at  night — to  the  tune  of 
"  Gallants,  come  away  "  from  a  collection  of  "  New  Christmas  Carrols:  be- 

d  Milner,  on  an  antient  cup  (Archseologia,  vol.  xi.  p.  420),  informs  us,  that  "  The  introduction 
of  Christianity  amongst  our  ancestors  did  not  at  all  contribute  to  the  abolition  of  the  practice  of 
\vasselling.  On  the  contrary,  it  began  to  assume  a  kind  of  religious  aspect;  and  the  Wassel  Bowl 
itself,  which  in  the  great  monasteries  was  placed  on  the  Abbot's  table,  at  the  upper  end  of  the  Re- 
fectory or  Eating  Hall,  to  be  circulated  atiiong  the  community  at  his  discretion,  receiyed  the 
honourable  appellation  of  "  Poculum  Charitatis."  This  in  our  Universities  is  called  the  Grace- 
cup. 

B   2 


4  NEW  YEAR'S  EVE. 

ing  fit  also  to  be  sung  at  Easter,  Whitsontide,  and  other  Festival  Days  in  the 
year;"  no  date,  12mo,  b.  I.  in  the  curious  study  of  that  ever  to  be  respected 
antiquary  Mr.  Anthony  a  Wood,  in  the  Ashmolean  Museum. 

"  A  jolly  Wassel-Bowl, 

A  Wassel  of  good  ale, 
Well  fare  the  butler's  soul, 

That  setteth  this  to  sale; 

Our  jolly  Wassel. 

Good  Dame,   here  at  your  door 

Our  Wassel  we  begin, 
We  are  all  maidens  poor, 

We  pray  now  let  us  in, 

With  our  Wassel. 

Our  Wassel  we  do  fill 

With  apples  and  with  spice, 
Then  grant  us  your  good  will 

To  taste  here  once  or  twice 

Of  our  good  Wassel. 

If  any  maidens  be 

Here  dwelling  in  this  house, 
They  kindly  will  agree 

To  take  a  full  carouse 

Of  our  Wassel. 

But  here  they  let  us  stand 

All  freezing  in  the  cold ; 
Good   master,  give  command, 

To  enter  and  be  bold, 

With  our  Wassel. 

Much  joy  into  this  hall 

With  us  is  entred  in, 
Our  master  first  of  all, 

We  hope  will  now  begin, 
Of  our  Wassel ; 


NEW  YEAR'S  EVE. 


And  after  his  good  wife 
Our  spiced  bowl  will  try, 

The  Lord  prolong  your  life, 
Good  fortune  we  espy, 

For  our  Wassel. 

Some  bounty  from  your  hands, 
Our  Wassel  to  maintain  : 

We'll  buy  no  house  nor  lands 
With  that  which  we  do  gain, 
With  our  Wassel. 

This  is  our  merry  night 

Of  choosing  King  and  Queen, 
Then  be  it  your  delight 

That  something  may  be  seen 
In  our  Wassel. 

It  is  a  noble  part 

To  bear  a  liberal  mind, 
God  bless  our  master's  heart, 

For  here  we  comfort  find, 

With  our  Wassel. 

And  now  we  must  be  gone, 
To  seek  out  more  good  cheer; 

Where  bounty  will  be  shown, 
As  we  have  found  it  here, 

With  our  Wassel. 

Much  joy  betide  them  all, 
Our  prayers  shall  be  still, 

We  hope  and  ever  shall, 

For  this  your  great  good  will, 
To  our  Wassel8." 


*  Macaulay,  in  his  History  and  Antiquities  of  Claybrook  in  Leicestershire,  8vo.  Land.  1791, 
p.  131,  observes :  "  Old  John  Payne  and  his  wife,  natives  of  this  parish,  are  well  known  from 
having  perambulated  the  Hundred  of  Guthlaxton  many  years,  during  the  season  of  Christmas, 
with  a  fine  gew-gaw  which  they  call  a  Wassail,  and  which  they  exhibit  from  house  to  house,  with 


6  NEW    YEARS    EVE. 

In  the  Collection  of  Ordinances  for  the  Royal  Household,  published  by 
the  Society  of  Antiquaries,  we  have  some  account  of  the  ceremony  of  Wassel- 
ling,  as  it  was  practised  at  Court,  on  Twelfth  Night,  in  the  reign  of  Henry  the 
Seventh f.  From  these  we  learn  that  the  antient  custom  of  pledging  each  other 
out  of  the  same  cup,  had  now  given  place  to  the  more  elegant  practice  of  each 
person  having  his  cup,  and  that  "  When  the  steward  came  in  at  the  doore  with 
theWassel,  he  was  to  crie  three  tymes,  Wassel,  Wassel,  Wassel;  and  then 
the  chappell  (the  chaplain)  was  to  answere  with  a  songe." 

The  subsequent  Wassailers'  song  on  New  Year's  eve,  as  still  sung  in  Glou- 
cestershire, was  communicated  by  Samuel  Lysons,  esq.  N.  B.  The  Wassailers 
bring  with  them  a  great  bowl,  dressed  up  with  garlands  and  ribbons. 

"Wassail!   Wassail!  all  over  the  town, 
Our  toast  it  is  white,  our  ale  it  is  brown  : 
Our  bowl  it  is  made  of  a  maplin  tree, 
We  be  good  fellows  all;    I  drink  to  thee. 

Here's  to  *  *  *  *  s,    and  to  his  right  ear, 
God  send  our  maister  a  happy  New  Year; 
A  happy  New  Year  as  e'er  he  did  see — 
With  my  Wassailing  Bowl  I  drink  to  thee. 

Here's  to  *  *  *  *i>,    and  to  his  right  eye, 
God  send  our  mistress  a  good  Christmas  pye : 
A  good  Christmas  pye  as  e'er  I  did  see — 
With  my  Wassailing  Bowl  I  drink  to  thee. 

the  accompaniment  of  a  duet.  I  apprehend  that  the  practice  of  Wassailing  will  die  with  this  aged 
pair.  We  are  by  no  means  so  tenacious  of  old  usages  and  diversions  in  this  country,  as  they  are 
in  many  other  parts  of  the  world." 

f  See  Milner  on  an  antient  cup,  Arclweologia,  vol.  xi.  p.  423. 

Under  "Twelfth  Day,"  an  account  will  be  found  of  the  Wassailing  ceremonies  peculiar  to  that 
season. 

At  these  times  the  fare  in  other  respects  was  better  than  usual,  and,  in  particular,  a  finer  kind 
of  bread  was  provided,  which  was,  on  that  account,  called  Wassel-bread.  Lowth,  in  his  Life  of 
William  of  Wykeham,  derives  this  name  from  the  Wastellum  or  Vessel  in  which  he  supposes  the 
bread  to  have  been  made.  See  Milner,  ut  supra,  p.  421. 

«  The  name  of  some  horse.  k  The  name  of  another  horse. 


NEW    YEARS    EVE.  7 

Here's  to  Filpail1,  and  to  her  long  tail, 
God  send  our  measter  us  never  may  fail 
Of  a  cup  of  good  beer,  I  pray  you  draw  near, 
And  then  you  shall  hear  our  jolly  Wassail. 

Be  here  any  maids,  I  suppose  here  be  some ; 

Sure  they  will  not  let  young  men  stand  on  the  cold  stone ; 

Sing  hey  O  maids,  come  trole  back  the  pin, 

And  the  fairest  maid  in  the  house,  let  us  all  in. 

Come,  butler,  come  bring  us  a  bowl  of  the  best : 
I  hope  your  soul  in  Heaven  will  rest : 
But  if  you  do  bring  us  a  bowl  of  the  small, 
Then  down  fall  butler,  bowl,  and  all." 

Hutchinson,  in  his  History  of  Cumberland,  vol.  i.  p.  570,  speaking  of  the 
parish  of  Muncaster,  under  the  head  of  "Ancient  Custom,"  informs  us:  "  On 
the  eve  of  the  New  Year,  the  children  go  from  house  to  house,  singing  a  ditty 
which  craves  the  bounty  '  they  were  wont  to  have  in  old  King  Edward's  days.1 
There  is  no  tradition  whence  this  custom  rose ;  the  donation  is  two-pence,  or  a 
pye  at  every  house.  We  have  to  lament  that  so  negligent  are  the  people  of 
the  morals  of  youth,  that  great  part  of  this  annual  salutation  is  obscene,  and 
offensive  to  chaste  ears.  It  certainly  has  been  derived  from  the  vile  orgies  of 
heathens." 


In  Sir  John  Sinclair's  Statistical  Account  of  Scotland,  Edinb.  1794,  8vo. 
vol.  xii.  p.  458,  the  minister  of  Kirkmichael,  in  the  county  of  Banff,  under 
the  head  of  Superstitions,  &c.  tells  us  :  "  On  the  first  night  of  January,  they 
observe,  with  anxious  attention,  the  disposition  of  the  atmosphere.  As  it  is 
calm  or  boisterous;  as  the  wind  blows  from  the  S.  or  the  N. ;  from  the  E.  or 
the  W. ;  they  prognosticate  the  nature  of  the  weather  till  the  conclusion  of  the 
year.  The  first  night  of  the  New  Year,  when  the  wind  blows  from  the  West, 
they  call  dar-na-coille,  the  night  of  the  fecundation  of  the  trees;  and  from 
this  circumstance  has  been  derived  the  name  of  that  night  in  the  Gaelic  lan- 

1  The  name  of  a  cow. 


g  NEW  YEAR'S  EVE. 

guage.  Their  faith  in  the  above  signs  is  couched  in  verses  (thus  translated) : 
The  wind  of  the  S.  will  be  productive  of  heat  and  fertility;  the  wind  of  the  W. 
of  milk  and  fish;  the  wind  from  the  N.  of  cold  and  storm;  the  wind  from  the 
E.  of  fruit  on  the  trees." 

In  the  Dialogue  of  Dives  and  Pauper,  printed  by  Richard  Pynson,  in  1493, 
(fol.  signal.  E2)  among  the  Superstitions  then  in  use  at  the  beginning  of  the 
year,  the  following  is  mentioned :  "  Alle  that  take  hede  to  dysmale  dayes,  or 
use  nyce  observaunces  in  the  newe  moone,  or  in  the  New  Fere,  as  setting  of 
mete  or  drynke,  by  nighte  on  the  benche,  tofede  Alholde  or  Gobelyn" 


NEW  YEAR'S  DAY. 

"  Froze  January,  leader  of  the  year, 

Minced  pies  in  van,  and  calf's  head  in  the  rear  a." 

CHURCHILL. 

AS  the  vulgar,  says  Bourne,  are  always  very  careful  to  end  the  old  year 
well,  so  they  are  no  less  solicitous  of  making  a  good  beginning  of  the  new  one. 
The  old  one  is  ended  with  a  hearty  compotation.  The  new  one  is  opened  with 
the  custom  of  sending  presents b,  which  are  termed  New  Year's  Gifts,  to 
friends  and  acquaintance.  He  resolves  both  customs  into  superstitions,  as 
being  observed  that  the  succeeding  year  ought  to  be  prosperous  and  suc- 
cessful. 

"  Alluding  to  an  annual  insult  offered  on  the  30th  of  January  to  the  memory  of  the  unfortunate 
Charles  I. 

b  I  find  the  New  Year's  Gift  thus  described  in  a  poem  cited  in  Poole's  English  Parnassus,  voce 

January : 

"  1  he  king  of  light,  father'  of  aged  Time, 

Hath  brought  about  that  day  which  is  the  prime 
To  the  slow  gliding  months,  when  every  eye 
Wears  symptoms  of  a  sober  jollity; 
And  every  hand  is  ready  to  present 
Some  service  in  a  real  compliment. 


NEW    YEARS    DAY.  9 

Bishop  Stillingfleet  observes6,  that  among  the  Saxons  of  the  Northern 
nations,  the  Feast  of  the  New  Year  was  observed  with  more  than  ordinary 
jollity :  thence,  as  Olaus  Wormius  and  Scheffer  observe,  they  reckoned  their 

Whilst  some  in  golden  letters  write  their  love, 

Some  speak  affection  by  a  ring  or  glove, 

Or  pins  and  points   (for  ev'n  the  Peasant  may. 

After  his  mder  fashion,  be  as  gay 

As  the  brisk  courtly  Sir),  and  thinks  that  he 

Cannot,  without  gross  absurdity, 

Be  this  day  frugal,  and  not  spare  his  friend 

Some  gift,  to  shew  his  love  iinrls  not  an  end 

With  the  deceased  year." 

From  the  subsequent  passage  in  Bishop  Hall's  Virgidemiarum,  16'mo.  Lond.  1598,  it  should 
«eem  that  the  usual  New  Year's  Gift  of  tenantry  in  the  country  to  their  landlords,  was  a  Capon. 

"  Yet  must  he  haunt  his  greedy  landlord's  hall 

With  often  presents  at  ech  festiuall; 

With  crammed  Capons  every  New  Yeare's  morne, 

Or  with  greene  cheeses  when  his  sheepe  are  shorne, 

Or  many  maunds-full  of  his  mellow  fruite,"  &c. 

Book  v.  Sat.  I. 
So,  in  "  A  Lecture  to  the  People,  by  Abraham  Cowley,  4to.  Lond.   1 673. 

"  Ye  used  in  the  former  days  to  fall 

Prostrate  unto  your  landlord  in  his  hall, 

When  with  low  legs,  and  in  an  humble  guise, 

Ye  offer'd  up  a  Capon-sacrifice 

Unto  his  worship  at  a  New  Year's  Tide." 

An  Orange  stuck  with  cloves  appears  to  have  been  a  New  Year's  Gift.  So  Ben  Jonson,  in  his 
Christmas  Masque :  "  He  has  an  Orange  and  rosemary,  but  not  a  clove  to  stick  in  it."  A  gilr 
nutmeg  is  mentioned  in  the  same  piece,  and  on  the  same  occasion.  The  use,  however,  of  the 
orange  stuck  with  cloves  may  be  ascertained  from  "  The  Seconde  Booke  of  Notable  Things,"  by 
Thomas  Lupton,  4to.  4. 1.  "  Wyrie  wyll  be  pleasant  in  taste  and  savour,  if  an  orenge  or  a  lynion 
(stickt  round  about  with  cloaves)  be  hanged  within  the  vessel  that  it  touch  not  the  wyne :  and  so 
the  wyne  wyll  be  preserved  from  foystiness  and  evyll  savor."  Reed's  edition  of  Shakspeare, 
(Love's  Labour's  Lost)  vol.  vii.  p.  191.  The  quarto  edit,  of  Love's  Labour's  Lost,  1598,  reads 
"  A  gift  nutmeg." 

In  Stephens's  Characters,  8vo.  Lond.  1631,  p.  "2.93,  "Like  an  inscription  with  a  fat  goose 
against  New  Year's  Tide." 

c  Orig.  Brit.  p.  343. 
VOL.    I.  C, 


10  NEW    YEARS    DAT. 

age  by  so  many  Iolasd;  and  Snorro  Sturleson  describes  this  New  Year's 
Feast,  just  as  Buchannan  sets  out  the  British  Saturnalia,  by  feasting  and  send- 
ing presents  or  New  Year's  Gifts,  to  one  another. 

The  poet  Naogeorgus  is  cited  by  Hospinian,  as  telling  us,  that  it  was 
usual  in  his  time  for  friends  to  present  each  other  with  a  New  Year's  Gift; 
for  the  husband  to  give  one  to  his  wife ;  parents  to  their  children ;  and  mas- 
ters to  their  servants;  &c.  a  custom  derived  to  the  Christian  world  from 
the  times  of  Gentilistn c.  The  superstition  condemned  in  this  by  the  antient 


a  Tola  in  the  Gothick  language  signifies  to  make  merry.     Stillingfleet,  ibid. 

There  is  a  curious  account  of  the  manner  in  which  the  Romans  passed  their  New  Year's  Day, 
in  Libanius's  Ekphrasin.  Kalendr.  p.  178  ;  edit.  1606. 

In  Westmorland  and  Cumberland,  "  early  on  the  morning  of  the  first  of  January,  the  Faex 
Populi  assemble  together,  carrying  stangs  and  baskets.  Any  inhabitant,  stranger,  or  whoever 
joins  not  this  ruffian  tribe  in  sacrificing  to  their  favourite  saint-day,  if  unfortunate  enough  to 
be  met  by  any  of  the  band,  is  immediately  mounted  across  the  stang  (if  a  woman,  she  is  basketed), 
and  carried,  shoulder  height,  to  the  nearest  public-house,  where  the  payment  of  sixpence  imme- 
diately liberates  the  prisoner."  "  None,  though  ever  so  industriously  inclined,  are  permitted  to 
follow  their  respective  avocations  on  that  day."  Gent.  Mag.  1791,  p.  1169. 

"  It  seems  it  was  a  custom  at  Rome,  upon  New  Year's  Day,  for  all  tradesmen  to  work  a  little 
in  their  business  by  way  of  omen;  for  luck's  sake,  as  we  say,  that  they  might  have  constant 
business  all  the  year  after."  Massey's  Notes  on  Ovid's  Fasti,  p.  14.  He  translates  the  passage  in 
his  author  thus  : 

"  With  business  is  the  year  auspiciously  begun ; 
But  every  artist,  soon  as  he  has  try'd 
To  work  a  little,  lays  his  work  aside." 

c  Concerning  the  practice  of  giving  presents  on  New  Year's  Day  among  the  Romans,  see 
Laurentii  Polymathia,  Suetonius,  and  Pabiuiicr  Recherches,  p.  375. 

"  De  his  Ritibus  ct  Consuetudinibus  Thomas  Nageorgus,  libro  4,  Regni  Papistic),  ita  cecinit. 
"  Post  caesis  Jani  tribuuntur  dona  calendis 
Atque  etiam  Strena;  chaiis  mittuntur  amicis: 
Conjugibusque  viri  donant,  gratisque  parentes, 
Et  domini  famulis,  anni  felixque  precantur 
Principium  Gentis  Pagano  more  togatae. 
Debita  nemo  petit  totis  his  octo  diebus, 
Selectisque  onerant  dapibus,  mensasque,  focumque 
Paneque  vescuntur  miro,  magnisque  placentis. 
l-udunt,  compotant,  ineunt  comma  Iseti: 


NEW  YEAR'S  DAY.  II 

fathers f,  lay  in  the  idea  of  these  gifts  being  considered  as  omens  of  success 
for  the  ensuing  year.     In  this  sense  also,  and  in  this  sense  alone,  could  they  have 

Ut  si  fortassis  csepto  moriantur  in  anno, 
Se  tamen  explerint  prius,  antequamque  novarint 
Hoc  modo  amicitiam." 

Hospinian  observes  upon  this  :  "  Et  sic  quidem  annum  veterem  terminamus,  novumque 
auspicamur,  in  auspicatis  prorsus  dirisque  auspiciis.  Adeoque  belle  Gregorii  M.  consilio  paremus 
qui  Paganorum  festa  sensim  in  Christiana  festa  commutanda,  et  quaedam  ad  similitudinem 
facienda  esse  voluit.  Lib.  9,  ca.  71-"  Hospinian  de  Origine  Fest.  Christ,  fol.  32. 

I  find  the  following  in  Delrio's  Disquisitiones  Magicae  (lib.  iii.  p.  2,  quest.  4,  sect.  5,  edit.  4to. 
Yen.  1616,  p.  4CO)  :  "  Potest  nonnunquam  vana  observantia  contingere  in  Strenis  primo  anni 
die  dandis.  Solebant  Etlmici  Kalendas  Januarii  (ut  decent  Sueton.  et  Ovid.)  magna  solennitate 
celebrare,  in  honorem  Jani  et  inter  caetera  tune  invicem  dare  strenas,  in  omen  sive  precationem 
bonam  anni  prospere  decursuri,  vel  aliorum  multorum  adjiciendorum,  nam  dicta  quasi  trena,  et 
ternarius  perfecturis,  atque  plenitudinis  judex,  ed  quod  tria  sint  omnia  Aristoteli." 

Hospinian  has  another  curious  passage  on  this  subject ;  adding,  that  at  Rome  on  New  Year's 
Day,  no  one  would  suffer  a  neighbour  to  take  fire  out  of  his  house,  or  any  thing  of  iron,  or  lend  any 
thing.  "  Bonifacius  Germanorum  Apostolus  ad  Zachariam  Papam  scripsit,  venisse  ad  se  qui 
dixerint,  se  vidisse  annis  singulis  in  ipsa  urbe  Roma,  et  juxta  Ecclesiam  S.  Petri  in  die  nocteque 
Calendarum  Januar.  paganorum  consuetudine  chorps  ducere  per  plateas  et  acclamationes  ritu 
Gentilium,  et  cantationes  sacrilegas  celebrare,  mensasque  ilia  die  vel  nocte  dapibus  oncrare,  et 
nullum  de  domo  sua  ignem,  vel  ferramentum,  vel  illiquid  commodi  vicino  suo  praestare  velle :  nee 
id  Zacharias  negavit."  Hospinian,  ut  supra,  fol.  32. 

The  following  is  Barnabe  Googe's  translation  of  what  relates  to  New  Year's  Day  in  Naogeorgus : 
better  known  by  the  name  of  "  The  Popish  Kingdom,"  4to.  Lond.  l.r>70,  b.  I. 
"  The  next  to  this  is  New  Yeare's  Day,  whereon  to  every  frende 
They  costly  presents  in  do  bring,  and  Newe  Yeare's  Giftes  do  sende, 
These  giftes  the  husband  gives  his  wife,  and  father  eke  the  childc, 
And  maister  on  his  men  bestowes  the  like,  with  favour  milde ; 
And  good  beginning  of  the  yeare  they  wishe  and  wishe  againe, 
According  to  the  auncient  guise  of  heathen  people  vaine. 
These  eight  days  no  man  doth  require  his  dettes  of  any  man, 
Their  tables  do  they  furnish  out  with  all  the  meate  they  can  : 
With  marchpaynes,  tartes,  and  custards  great,  they  drink  with  staring  eyes, 
They  rowte  and  revell,  fecde  and  feaste,  as  merry  all  as  pyes : 
As  if  they  should  at  th'  entrance  of  this  New  Yeare  hap  to  die, 
Yet  would  they  have  their  bellies  full,  and  auncient  friends  allie."  Fol.  45.  b. 

f  "  C  itatur  locus  ex  Augustino,  in  quo  praecipjtur,  ne  observentur  Calendar  Januarii,  in  quibus 
Cantilenas  quaedam,  et  Commessationes,  et  ad  invicem  dona  donentur,  quasi  in  principio  anni. 
boni  fali  augurio."  Hosp.  de  Fest.  Qrig.  fol.  32  b. 


12  NEW  YEAR'S  DAY. 

censured  the  benevolent  compliment  of  wishing  each  other  a  happy  New  Year. 
The  latter  has  been  adopted  by  the  modern  Jews,  who  on  the  first  day  of 

"  In  Calendas  Januarias  Antiqui  Patrcs  vehementius  invehebantur,  non  propter  istas  Missita- 
tiones  ad  invicem  et  mutui  Amoris  pignora,  sed  propter  diem  Idolis  dicatum:  propter  ritus 
quosdam  profanes  et  sacrileges  in  ilia  solemnitate  adhibitos."  Mountacut.  Orig.  Eccles.  Pars 
prior,  p.  128. 

Johannes  Boemus  Aubanus  tells  us,  "  Calendis  Januarii,  quo  temporc  et  annus  et  omnis 
computatio  nostra  inchoatur,  Cognatus  Cognatum,  Amicus  Amicum  accedunt,  et  consertis 
manibus  invicem  in  novum  Annum  prosperitatem  imprecantur,  diemque  ilium  festiva  congratu- 
latione  et  compotatione  dedecant.  Tune  etiam  ex  avita  consuetudine  ultro  citroque  munera 
mittuntur,  qua  a  Saturnalibus,  quae  eo  tempore  celebrantur  a  Pvomanis,  Saturnalitia,  a  Gnecis 
Apophoreta  dicta  sunt.  Hiinc  niorem  anno  superior!  ego  ita  versificavi. 

"Christe  Patris  Verbum,  &c. 
Natalemque  tuum  celebrantes  octo  diebus, 

Concinimus  laudem,  perpetuumque  decus. 
Atque  tuo  exemplo  moniti  munuscula  notis, 

Aut  caprum  pinguem  mittimus,  aut  leporem, 
Aut  his  liba  damus  signis  et  imagine  pressa, 

Mittimus  aut  calathis  aurea  mala  decem. 
Aurea  mala  decem,  buxo  cristata  virenti, 

Et  variis  cans  rebus  aromaticis."  P.  265. 

Pope  Zecharias's  Introduction  on  this  head  occurs  in  the  Convivial  Antiquities :  "  Si  quis 
Calendas  Januarii  ritu  Ethnicorum  colere,  et  aliquid  plus  novi  facere  propter  novum  annum,  aut 
Mensas  cum  lampadibus,  vel  Epulas  in  domibus  praparare,  et  per  vicos  et  plateas  Cantatores  et 
Choreas  ducere  ausus  fuerit,  Anathema  sit."  P.  126. 

Mr.  Pennant  tells  us,  that  the  Highlanders,  on  New  Year's  Day,  burn  juniper  before  their 
cattle ;  and  on  the  first  Monday  in  every  quarter,  sprinkle  them  with  urine. 

The  Festival  of  Fools  at  Paris,  held  on  this  day,  continued  for  two  hundred  and  forty  years, 
when  every  kind  of  absurdity  and  indecency  was  committed. 

At  this  instant,  a  little  before  twelve  o'clock,  on  New  Year's  Eve,  1794,  the  bells  in  London 
are  ringing  in  the  New  Year,  as  they  call  it. 

In  Scotland,  upon  the  last  day  of  the  Old  Year,  the  children  go  about  from  door  to  door  asking 
for  bread  and  cheese,  which  they  call  Nog-Money,  in  these  words  : 

"  Get  up,  gude  wife,  and  binno  sweir,  (i.  e.  be  not  lazy) 
And  deal  your  cakes  and  cheese,  while  you  are  here; 
For  the  time  will  come  when  ye'll  be  dead, 
And  neither  need  your  cheese  nor  bread." 

It  appears  from  several  passages  in  Mr.  Nichols's  Queen  Elizabeth's  Progresses,  that  it  was  an- 
tiently  a  custom  at  Court,  at  this  season,  both  for  the  sovereigns  to  receive  and  giveNew  Year's  Gifts. 
In  the  preface,  p.  28,  we  read,  "  The  only  remains  of  this  custom  at  Court  now  is,  that  the  two 
chaplains  in  waiting,  on  New  Year's  Day,  have  each  a  crown-piece  laid  under  their  plates  at  dinner." 


YEAR'S  DAY.  13 

the  month  Tisri,  have  a  splendid  entertainment,  and  wish  each  other  a  happy 
New  Years. 

Dr.  Moresin  tells  us  that  in  Scotland  it  was  in  his  time  the  custom  to  send 
New  Year's  Gifts  on  New  Year's  Eve,  but  that  on  New  Year's  Day  they 
wished  each  other  a  happy  day,  and  asked  a  New  Year's  Gifth. 

I  believe  it  is  still  usual  in  Northumberland  for  persons  to  ask  for  a  New 
Year's  Gift  on  that  day. 

It  appears  from  a  curious  MS.  in  the  British  Museum,  of  the  date  of  15GO, 
that  the  boys  of  Eton  school  used  on  the  day  of  the  Circumcision,  at  that  time, 
to  play  for  little  New  Year's  Gifts  before  and  after  supper :  and  that  the  boys 
had  a  custom  that  day,  for  good  luck's  sake,  of  making  verses,  and  sending 
them  to  the  Provost,  Masters,  &c.  as  also  of  presenting  them  to  each  other '. 


In  a  curious  manuscript,  lettered  on  the  back  "  Publick  Revenue,  Anno  Quinto  regni  Edwardi 
Sexti,"  I  find,  "  Rewards  given  on  New  Year's  Day,  that  is  to  say  to  the  King's  officers  and 
servants  of  ordinary,  s£l&5.  5s.,  and  to  their  servants  that  present  the  King's  Matie  with  New 
Year's  Gifts."  The  custom,  however,  is  in  part  of  a  date  considerably  older  than  the  time  of 
Edward  the  Sixth.  Hemy  the  Third,  according  to  Matt.  Paris,  appears  to  have  extorted  New 
Year's  Gifts  from  his  subjects — "  Rex  autem  regalis  magnificentiae  tenninos  impudenter  trans- 
grediens,  a  Civibus  Londinensibus  quos  novit  ditiores,  die  circumcisionis  dominicae,  a  quolibet 
exegit  singulatim  primitiva,  quae  vulgares  Nova  Dona  Novi  Anni  superstitiose  solent  appellare." 
Matt.  Paris,  an.  1249,  p.  757,  ed.  Watts,  fol.  1641. 

f  The  month  Tisri,  according  to  their  civil  computation,  was  their  first  month}  so  that  feast 
may  be  termed  their  New  Year's  Day.  Goodwin's  Antiq.  lib.  iii.  cap.  7. 

"  Reperiunt  mensam  dulcissimis  cibis  instructam:  Ei  cum  assedcrint  quivis  partem  de  cibis  illis 
sumit,  et  annus,  inquit,  bonus  et  dulcis  sit  nobis  omnibus."  Hospinian  de  Fest.  Orig. 

h  "  Ex  avita  consuetudine  ultro  citroque  munera  mittuntur. — Scoli  hoc  ccremonite  facere  sunt 
soliti  pridie  Novi  Anni  ad  Vesperam,  tain  Juvenes  quam  Senes,  canentes  se  esse  famulitium 
Divae  Marise.  Postridie  vero  illius  diei  faustum  quisque  diem  alteri  precatus,  petit  Strenam." — 
Papatus,  p.  107-8. 

1  In  die  Circumcisionis  luditur  et  ante  et  post  ccenam  pro  Strenulis.  Pueri  autem  pro  consue- 
tudine ipso  Calendarum  Januariarum  die,  velut  ominis  boni  gratia,  carmina  componunt,  eaque 
vel  Praeposito  vel  Praeceptori  et  Magistris  vel  inter  se  ultro  citroque  communiter  mittunt." — 
Status  Scholae  Etonensis,  A.  D.  1560.  MS.  Brit.  Mus.  Donat.  4843,  fol.  423. 

The  very  ingenious  Scottish  writer,  Buchanan,  presented  to  the  unfortunate  Mary,  Queen  of 
Scots,  one  of  the  above  poetical  kind  of  New  Year's  Gifts.  History  is  silent  concerning  the  man- 
ner in  which  her  Majesty  received  it : 


14:  NEW  YEAR'S  DAY. 

Sir  Thomas  Overbury,  in  his  Characters,  speaking  of '"  a  Timist,"  says,  that 
"  his  New  Yeare's  Gifts  are  ready  at  Alhalomas,  and  the  Sute  he  meant  to 
meditate  before  them." 

"  Gevyng  of  New  Yeare's  Giftes  had  its  original  there  likewyse  (in  old  Rome), 
for  Suetonius  Tranquillns  reporteth  that  the  Knights  of  Rome  gave  yerely,  on 
the  calendes  of  January,  a  present  to  Augustus  Cresar,  although  he  were  ab- 
sent. Whiche  custom  remayneth  in  England,  for  the  subjects  sende  to  their 
superiours,  and  the  noble  personages  geve  to  the  Kynge  some  great  gyftes,  and 
he  to  gratifye  their  kyndnesse  doeth  liberally  rewarde  them  with  some  thyng 
again."  Langley's  Polydore  Vergil,  fol.  102. 

The  title-page  of  a  most  rare  tract  in  my  library,  intitled  "  Motives  grounded 
upon  the  word  of  God,  and  upon  honour,  profit,  and  pleasure,  for  the  present 
founding  an  University  in  the  Metropolis,  London;  with  Answers  to  such 
Objections  as  might  be  made  by  any  (in  their  incogitancy)  against  the  same;" 
printed  at  London,  1647,  quarto,  runs  thus:  "  Humbly  presented  [instead  oj 
heathenish  and  superstitious  New  Yearns  Gifts]  to  the  Right  Honourable  the 
Lord  Mayor,  the  right  worshipfull  the  Aldermen  his  brethren,  and  to  those 
faithful  and  prudent  Citizens  which  were  lately  chosen  by  the  said  City  to  be 
of  the  Common  Counsell  thereof  for  this  yeare  insueng,  viz.  1647;  by  a  true 
Lover  of  his  Nation,  and  especially  of  the  said  City." 

In  another  rare  tract,  of  an  earlier  date,  intitled  "Vox  Graculi,"  (4to,  1623) 
p.  49,  is  the  following,  under  "  January." 

"  This  month  drink  you  no  wine  commixt  with  dregs ; 
Eate  capons,  and  fat  hens,  with  dumpling  legs. 

"  The  first  day  of  January  being  raw,  colde,  and  comfortlesse  to  such  as 
have  lost  their  money  at  dice  at  one  of  the  Temples  over-night,  strange  appa- 
ritions are  like  to  be  scene :  Marchpanes  inarching  betwixt  Leaden-hall  and 
the  little  Conduit  in  Cheape,  in  such  aboundance  that  an  hundred  good 
fellowes  may  sooner  starve  then  catch  a  corner,  or  a  comfit  to  sweeten  their 
mouthes. 

"  AD  MARIAM  SCOTIA  REGINAM. 
Do  quod  adest :  opto  quod  abest  tibi,  dona  darentur 

Aurea,  sors  anirao  si  foret  sequa  meo. 
Hoc  leve  si  credis,  paribus  me  ulciscere  donis: 

Et  quod  abest  opta  tu  mihi:   da  quod  adest." 


NEW  YEAR'S  DAY.  15 

"  It  is  also  to  be  feared,  that  through  frailty,  if  a  slip  be  made  on  the  mes- 
senger's default  that  carries  them,  for  non-delivery  at  the  place  appointed ;  that 
unlesse  the  said  messenger  be  not  the  more  inward  with  his  mistris,  his 
master  will  give  him  rib-rost  for  his  New  Yeare's  Gift  the  next  morning. 

"  This  day  shall  be  given  many  more  gifts  then  shall  be  asked  for,  and 
apples,  egges,  and  orenges,  shall  be  lifted  to  a  lofty  rate;  when  a  pome-water 
bestucke  with  a  few  rotten  cloves,  shall  be  more  worth  than  the  honesty  of  an 
hypocrite;  and  halfe  a  dozen  of  egges  of  more  estimation  than  the  vowes  of  a 
strumpet.  Poets  this  day  shall  get  mightily  by  their  pamphlets:  for  an  hundred 
of  elaborate  lines  shall  be  lesse  esteemed  in  London,  then  an  hundred  of  Wai- 
fleet  oysters  at  Cambridge." 

In  the  Monthly  Miscellany  for  December  1692,  there  is  an  Essay  on  New 
Year'sGifts,  which  states,  that  the  Romans  were  "great  observers  of  the  custom 
of  New  Year's  Gifts,  even  when  their  year  consisted  only  of  ten  months,  of 
thirty-six  days  each,  and  began  in  March ;  also  when  January  and  February 
were  added  by  Numa  to  the  ten  others,  the  calends  or  first  of  January  were  the 
time  on  which  they  made  presents:  and  even  Romulus  and  Tatius  made  an 
order  that  every  year  Vervine  should  be  offered  to  them  with  other  gifts,  as 
tokens  of  good  fortune  for  the  New  Year.  Tacitus  makes  mention  of  an 
order  of  Tiberius,  forbidding  the  giving  or  demanding  of  New  Year's  Gifts, 
unless  it  were  on  the  calends  of  January;  at  which  time,  as  well  the  senators  as 
the  knights  and  other  great  men,  brought  gifts  to  the  emperor,  and  in  his 
absence,  to  the  capitol.  The  antient  Druids,  with  great  ceremonies,  used  to 
scrape  off  from  the  outside  of  oaks  the  misledcn,  which  they  consecrated  to 
their  great  Tutates,  and  then  distributed  it  to  the  people  thro'  the  Gauls, 
on  account  of  the  great  virtues  which  they  attributed  to  it ;  from  whence  New 
Year's  Gifts  are  still  called  in  some  parts  of  France,  Guy-Van-neuf.  Our 
English  nobility,  every  New  Year's  tide,  still  send  to  the  King  a  purse  with 
gold  in  it.  Reason  may  be  joined  to  custom  to  justify  the  practice;  for  as( 
presages  are  drawn  from  the  first  things  which  are  met  on  the  beginning  of  a 
day,  week,  or  year,  none  can  be  more  pleasing  than  of  those  things  that  are 
given  us.  We  rejoice  with  our  friends  after  having  escaped  the  dangers  that 
attend  every  year;  and  congratulate  each  other  for  the  future  by  presents  and 
wishes  for  the  happy  continuance  of  that  course,  which  the  ancients  called 
•Strenarum  Commercium,  And  as  formerly  men  used  to  renew  their  hospitalities 


16  NEW   YEAUS    DAY. 

by  presents,  called  Xema,  a  name  proper  enough  for  our  New  Year's  Gifts, 
they  may  be  said  to  serve  to  renew  friendship,  which  is  one  of  the  greatest  gifts 
imparted  by  Heaven  to  men:  and  they,  who  have  always  assigned  some  day  to 
those  things  which  they  thought  good,  have  also  judged  it  proper  to  solemnize 
the  Festival  of  Gifts,  and  to  shew  how  much  they  esteemed  it,  in  token  of 
happiness,  made  it  begin  the  year.  The  value  of  the  thing  given,  or,  if  it  is 
a  thing  of  small  worth,  its  novelty,  or  the  excellency  of  the  work,  and  the  place 
where  it  is  given,  makes  it  the  more  acceptable,  but  above  all,  the  time  of 
giving  it,  which  makes  some  presents  pass  for  a  mark  of  civility  on  the  begin- 
ning of  the  year,  that  would  appear  unsuitable  in  another  season." 

Prynne,  in  his  Histrio-Mastix,  p.  755,  has  the  following  most  severe  invective 
against  the  Rites  of  New  Years  Day. 

"  If  we  now  parallel  our  grand  disorderly  Christmasses  with  these  Roman 
Saturnals  and  heathen  festivals ;  or  our  New  Yearns  Day  (a  chiefe  part  of 
Christmas)  with  their  festivity  of  Janus,  which  was  spent  in  mummeries,  stage- 
playes,  dancing,  and  such  like  enterludes,  wherein  fidlers  and  others  acted 
lascivious  effeminate  parts,  and  went  about  their  towns  and  cities  in  women's 
apparrell :  whence  the  whole  catholicke  church  (as  Alchuvinus,  with  others  write) 
appointed  a  solemn  publike  fastc  upon  this  our  New  Yeare's  Day  (which  fast  it 
seems  is  now  forgotten,)  to  bewaile  those  heathenish  enterludes,  sports,  and  lewd 
idolatrous  practices  which  had  been  used  on  it:  prohibiting  all  Christians,  under 
pain  of  excommunication,  from  observing  the  calends,  orjirst  of  January  (which 
wee  now  call  New  Yeare's  Day)  as  holy,  and  from  sending  abroad  Neiv  Yeare's 
Gifts  upon  it,  (a  custome  now  too  frequent ;)  it  being  a  meere  relique  of 
paganisme  and  idolatry,  derived  from  the  heathen  Romans'  feast  of  two- 
faced,  Janus,  and  a  practise  so  execrable  unto  Christians,  that  not  onely  the 
whole  catholicke  church,  but  even  the  four  famous  Councels  of",  &c.  &c.  (Here 
he  makes  a  great  parade  of  authorities)  "  have  positively  prohibited  the  solem- 
nization of  New  Yeare's  Day,  and  the  sending  abroad  of  New  Yeare's  Gifts, 
under  an  anathema  and  excommunication" 

In  the  Statistical  Account  of  Scotland,  Edinb.  1793,  8vo.  vol.  vii.  p.  488, 
Parishes  of  Cross,  Burness,  Sec.  County  of  Orkney, — New  Year's  Gifts  occur, 
under  the  title  of  "  Christinas  Present,"  and  as  given  to  servant  maids  by  their 
masters.  Ibid,  p.  48$,  we  read,  "  There  is  a  large  stone,  about  nine  or  ten  feet 
Ijigh,  and  four  broad,  placed  upright  in  a  plain,  in  the  isle  of  North  Roimldshay; 


NEW  YEAR'S  DAY:  .17 

but  no  tradition  is  preserved  concerning  it,  whether  erected  in  memory  of  any 
signal  event,  or  for  the  purpose  of  administering  justice,  or  for  religious  wor- 
ship. The  writer  of  this  (the  parish  priest)  has  seen  fifty  of  the  inhabitants 
assembled  there,  on  the  first  day  of  the  year,  and  dancing  with  moon-light, 
with  no  other  music  than  their  own  singing." 

In  the  same  Statistical  Account  of  Scotland,  Svo,  Edinb.  1795,  vol.  xv. 
p.  201,  note,  the  minister  of  Tillicoultry,  in  the  county  of  Clackmannan, 
under  the  head  of  Diseases,  says,  "  It  is  worth  mentioning  that  one  William 
Hunter,  a  collier,  was  cured  in  the  year  1758,  of  an  inveterate  rheumatism 
or  gout,  by  drinking  freely  of  new  ale,  full  of  barm  or  yest.  The  poor  man 
had  been  confined  to  his  bed  for  a  year  and  a  half,  having  almost  entirely  lost 
the  use  of  his  limbs.  On  the  evening  of  HANDSEL  MONDAY,  as  it  is  called, 
(i.  e.  the  first  Monday  of  the  New  Year,  O.  S.)  some  of  his  neighbours  came 
to  make  merry  with  him.  Though  he  could  not  rise,  yet  he  always  took  his 
share  of  the  ale,  as  it  passed  round  the  company,  and,  in  the  end,  became 
much  intoxicated.  The  consequence  was,  that  he  had  the  use  of  his  limbs 
the  next  morning,  and  was  able  to  walk  about.  He  lived  more  than  twenty 
years  after  this,  and  never  had  the  smallest  return  of  his  old  complaint." 

Ibid,  vol.  v.  p.  66.  The  minister  of  Moulin,  in  Perthshire,  informs  us,  that 
"  beside  the  stated  fees,  the  master  (of  the  parochial  school  there)  receives 
some  small  gratuity,  generally  two-pence  or  three-pence  from  each  scholar,  on 
Handsel- Monday,  or  Shrove-Tuesday ." 

"  De  V  Usage  dc  donner  des  CEufs  dans  les  Fetes  de  Nouvel  An  et  de  Paques, 

et  son  Origine. 

"  C'e'toit  un  usage  commun  a  tous  les  peuples  agricoles  d' Europe  et  d'Asie 
de  ce'le'brer  la  Fete  du  Nouvel  An  en  mangeant  des  CEufs ;  et  les  CEufs  fai- 
soient  partie  des  presens  qu'on  s'envoyoit  ce  jour-la.  On  avoit  meme  soin  de 
les  teindre  en  plusieurs  couleurs,  sur-tout  en  rouge,  couleur  favorite  des 
anciens  peuples,  et  des  Celtes  en  particulier. 

"  Mais  la  Fdte  du  Nouvel  An  se  ce'lebroit,  comme  nous  1'avons  vu,  a  1'equinoxe 
du  Printems,  c'est-a-dire,  au  terns  ou  les  Chretiens  ne  ce'le'brent  plus  que  la 
F4te  de  Pdques,  tandis  qu'ils  ont  transporte  le  Nouvel  An  au  Solstice  d'Hyver. 
II  est  arrive  de-la  que  la  Fdte  des  CEufs  a  etc"  attachee  chez  eux  a  la  Pdques, 
et  qu'on  rien  a  plus  donne"e  au  Nouvel  An, 

VOL.  i.  D 


18  NEW    YEARS    DAY. 

"Cependant  ce  ne  fut  pas  le  simple  effet  de  1'habitude;  mais  parce  qu'on 
attachoit  a  la  Fete  de  Paques  les  memes  prerogatives  qu'au  Nouvel  An,  celles 
d'etre  un  renouvellement  de  toutes  choses,  comme  chez  les  Persans ;  et  celles 
d'etre  d'abord  le  triomphe  du  Soldi  physique,  et  ensuite  celui  du  Soleil  de 
Justice,  du  Sauveur  du  Monde,  sur  la  mart,  par  sa  resurrection. 

"  Ainsi  tout  ce  que  nous  aurons  a  dire  sur  cet  usage,  aura  dgalement  pour 
objet,  et  la  Pdques  et  le  Nouvel  An,  ces  fetes  s'etant  presque  toujours  con- 
fondues,  et  pour  le  temps,  et  pour  les  motifs.  Nous  voyons,  par  exemple, 
dans  les  Voyages  de  Corneille  le  Bruyn  (torn.  i.  in  fol.  p.  191),  que  le  20  Mars, 
1704,  les  Perses  cel^brerent  la  Fdte  du  Nouvel  An  Solaire,  qui  dura,  selon 
lui,  plusieurs  jours,  en  se  donnant  entr'autres  choses  des  (Eufs  colores" 

Monde  Primitif,  par  M.  Court  de  Gebelin,  tome  iv.  4to.  Paris,  1787*  p.  251. 

Maurice,  Bishop  of  Paris  in  the  twelfth  century,  has  left  us  a  curious  Sermon, 
in  which,  speaking  of  New  Year's  Day,  he  says :  "  Hui  suelent  entendre  a 
malvais  gens  faire  et  mettent  lor  creance  en  Estrennes,  et  disoient  que  non 
resteroit  riches  en  1'An  s'il  restoit  hui  Estrennes."  See  Le  Boeuf  Divers  Ecrits, 
&c.  torn.  i.  p.  307. 

Upon  the  Circumcision,  or  New  Year's  Day,  the  early  Christians  ran  about 
masked,  in  imitation  of  the  superstitions  of  the  Gentiles.  Against  this  practice 
Saint  Maximus  and  Peter  Chrysologus  declaimed ;  whence  in  some  of  the  very 
antient  missals  we  find  written  in  the  Mass  for  this  day,  "  Missa  ad  prohi- 
bendum  ab  Idolis."  See  Maeri  Hiero-Lexicon,  p.  156'. 


TWELFTH  DAY. 

THIS  day,  which  is  well  known  to  be  called  the  Twelfth,  from  its  being  the 
twelfth  in  number  from  the  Nativity,  is  called  also  the  Feast  of  the  Epiphany, 
from  a  Greek  word  signifying  manifestation,  from  our  Lord's  having  been  on 
that  day  made  manifest  to  the  Gentiles.  This,  as  Bourne  observes*,  is  one  of 

Chap.  xvii.  "  With  some,"  he  tells  us,  "  Christmas  ends  with  the  twelve  days,  but  with  the 
generality  of  the  vulgar,  not  till  Candlemas."  Dugdale,  in  his  Origines  Juridiciales,  p.  286, 
speaking  of  "Orders  for  Government— Gray's  Inne,"  cites  an  order  of  4  Car.  I.  (Nov.  17)  that 


TWELFTH    DAY.  19 

the  greatest  of  the  twelve,  and  of  more  jovial  observation  for  the  visiting  of 
friends,  and  Christmas  gambols b. 

The  customs  of  this  day,  various  in  different  countries,  yet  agree  in  the 
same  end,  that  is,  to  do  honour  to  the  Eastern  Magi e,  who  are  supposed  to 
have  been  of  royal  dignity.  In  France,  while  that  country  had  a  Court  and 
King,  one  of  the  courtiers  was  chosen  king,  and  the  other  nobles  attended  on 
this  day  at  an  entertainment d. 

"  all  playing  at  dice,  cards,  or  otherwise,  in  the  hall,  buttry,  or  butler's  chamber,  should  be 
thenceforth  barred  and  forbidden  at  all  times  of  the  year,  the  TWENTY  days  in  Christmas  onely 
accepted." 

h  The  following  extract  from  Collier's  Ecclesiastical  History,  vol.  i.  p.  163,  seems  to  account  in 
at  satisfactory  manner  for  the  name  of  Twelfth  Day.  "  In  the  days  of  King  Alfred,  a  law  was 
made  with  relation  to  holidays,  by  virtue  of  which  the  twelve  days  after  the  Nativity  of  our 
Saviour  were  made  Festivals." 

From  the  subsequent  passage  in  Bishop  Hall's  Virgidemiarum,  12mo,  Lond.  1598,  p.  67,  the 
whole  twelve  days  appear  to  have  been  dedicated  to  feasting  and  jollity. 

"  Except  the  Twelve  Days,  or  the  wake-day  feast, 
What  time  he  needs  must  be  his  cosen's  guest." 

"  Atque  ab  ipso  natali  Jestu  Christ!  die  ad  octavam  usque  ab  Epiphania  lucem,  jejunia  nemo 
observato,  nisi  quidem  judicio  ac  voluntate  fecerit  sua,  aut  id  ei  fuerit  a  sacerdote  imperatum." 
Seld.  Analecton  Aiiglo-Britannicon,  lib.  ii.  p.  108. 

e  "  Of  these  Magi,  or  Sages  (vulgarly  called  the  three  Kings  of  Colen),  the  first  named  Mel- 
chior,  an  aged  man  with  a  long  beard,  offered  gold:  the  second,  Jasper,  a  beardless  youth, 
offered  frankincense:  the  third,  Balthasar,  a  black  or  Moor,  with  a  large  spreading  beard, 
offered  myrrh :  according  to  this  distich : 

"  Tres  Reges  Regi  Regum  tria  dona  ferebant ; 
Myrrham  Homini,  Uncto  Aurum,  Thura  dedere  Deo." 

Festa  Anglo-Romana,  p.  7- 

The  dedication  of  "  The  Bee-hive  of  the  Romish  Church,"  concludes  thus  :  "  Datum  in  our 

Musaeo  the  5  of  January,  being  the  even  of  the  three  Kings  of  Collen,  at  which  time  all  good 

Catholiks  make  merry  and  crie,  'The  King  drinkes.'  In  anno  1569.    Isaac  Rabbolence,  of  Loven." 

Selden,  in  his  Table-Talk,  p.  20,  says,  "  Our  chusing  Kings  and  Queens  on  Twelfth-Night  has 

reference  to  the  three  Kings." 

*  At  the  end  of  the  year  1792,  the  Council-general  of  the  Commons  at  Paris  passed  an  arret,  in 
consequence  of  which  "  La  Fete  de  Rois"  (Twelfth  Day)  was  thenceforth  to  be  called  "  La  Fete 
de  Sans-Culottes."  It  was  called  an  anti-civic  feast,  which  made  every  priest  that  kept  it  a 
Royalist. 

There  is  a  very  curious  account  in  Le  Roux  Dictionnaire  Comique,  torn.  ii.  p.  431,  of  the 
French  ceremony  of  the"  Roi  de  la  Feve,"  which  explains  Jordaen's  fine  picture  of " Le  Roi  boit." 


20  TWELFTH    DAY. 

In  Germany  they  observed  nearly  the  same  rites  in  cities  and  academies, 
where  the  students  and  citizens  chose  one  of  their  own  number  for  King,  pro- 
viding a  most  magnificent  banquet  on  the  occasion e. 

The  chusing  of  a  person  King  or  Queen f  by  a  bean  found  in  a  piece  of  a 
divided  cake,  was  formerly  a  common  Christmas  gambol  in  both  the  English 
universities. 


See  an  account  of  this  custom  in  Busalde  de  Verville  Palais  des  Curieux,  edit.  1612,  p.  9O.  See 
also  Pasquier  Recherches  de  la  France,  p.  375. 

Among  the  Cries  of  Paris,  a  poem  composed  by  Guillaume  de  Villeneuve  -in  the  thirteenth 
century,  and  printed  at  the  end  of  Barbasan  Ordene  de  Chevalerie,  Beans  for  Twelfth  Day  are 
mentioned:  "  Gastel  a  feve  orrois  crier."  ;_„,!,• 

To  the  account  given  by  Le  Roux  of  the  French  way  of  chusing  King  and  Queen,  may  be 
added,  that  in  Normandy  they  place  a  child  under  the  table,  which  is  covered  in  such  a  manner 
with  the  cloth  that  he  cannot  see  what  is  doing ;  and  when  the  cake  is  divided,  one  of  the  com- 
pany taking  up  the  first  piece,  cries  out,  "  Fabe  Domini  pour  qui  ?"  The  child  answers,  "  Pour 
le  bon  Dieu  :"  and  in  this  manner  the  pieces  are  allotted  to  the  company.  If  the  bean  be  found 
in  the  piece  for  the  "  bon  Dieu,"  the  King  is  chosen  by  drawing  long  or  short  straws.  Whoever 
gets  the  Bean  chuses  the  King  or  Queen,  according  as  it  happens  to  be  a  man  or  woman. 

Sir  Thomas  Urquhart  of  Cromarty,  in  his  curious  work,  entitled  "  The  Discovery  of  a  most 
exquisite  Jewel,  found  in  the  Kennel  of  Worcester  Streets,  the  day  after  the  Fight,  1651,"  says, 
p.  237,  "  Verily,  I  think  they  make  use  of  Kings — as  the  French  on  the  Epiphany-day  use  their 
Roy  de  la  fehve,  or  King  of  the  Bean ;  whom  after  they  have  honoured  with  drinking  of  his  health, 
and  shouting  aloud  "  LeRoy  boit,  Le  Roy  boit,"  they  make  pay  for  all  the  reckoning;  not  leaving 
him  sometimes  one  peny,  rather  than  that  the  exorbitancie  of  their  Debosh  should  not  be  satisfied 
to  the  full." — In  a  curious  book,  entitled  "  A  World  of  Wonders,"  fol.  Lond.  1607,  we  read, 
p.  189,  of  a  Curate,  "  who  having  taken  his  preparations  over  evening,  when  all  men  cry  (as  the 
manner  is)  the  King  drmfceth,  chanting  his  Masse  the  next  morning,  fell  asleep  in  his  Memento  : 
and  when  he  awoke,  added  with  a  loud  voice,  The  King  drinketh." 

«  "  Quia  vero  creditum  fuit  Magos  hos  Reges  fuisse,  propterea  in  honorcm  et  memoriam  eorum 
varii  ritus  hac  die  hinc  inde  observantur.  In  Gallia  unus  ex  ministiis  aulicis  Regis  eligitur  Rex, 
cui  Rex  ipse,  ca;terique  proceres  inter  epulandum  ministrant.  Idem  etiam  in  Germania  observatur 
hoc  die  per  Academias  et  Urbes  a  studiosis  et  civibus  :  ut  nimirum  aliquem  ex  sese  Regem  sorte 
creent,  cui  apparatur  convivium  magnificum,  in  quo  caeteri  ipsi  tanquam  Regi,  et  simul  hospiti 
ministrant.  Fit  hoc  ad  imitationem  Gentilium.  Apud  Romanos  enim  Saturnaliorum  diebus 
inoris  fuit,  ut  domini  famulos  suos  convivio  exciperent,  ipsique  Servorum  officio  fungerentur. 
Idem  etiam  apud  alias  Gentes  usurpatum  fuit."— Hospinian  de  Orig.  Festorum  Christian,  fol.  35  b. 

f  Thomas  Randolph,  in  a  curious  letter  to  Dudley,  Lord  Leicester,  dated  Edin.  15  Jan, 
1563,  mentions  Lady  Flemyng  being  "  Queene  of  the  Beene"  on  Twelfth  Day.  Pinkerton's 
Ancient  Scot.  Poems,  vol.  ii.  p.  431. 


TWELVTH    DAT.  21 

In  the  ancient  calendar  of  the  Romish  church,  I  find  an  observation  on  the 
fifth  day  of  January,  the  eve  or  vigil  of  the  Epiphany,  "  Kings  created  or 
elected  by  beans."  The  sixth  is  called  "  The  Festival  of  Kings,"  with  this 
additional  remark,  "  that  this  ceremony  of  electing  Kings  was  continued  with 
feasting  for  many  days  s." 


Mr.  Douce's  MS  notes  say,  "  Mos  inolevit  et  viget  apud  plurimas  nationes,  ut  in  profesto 
Epiphaniae,  seu  trium  Regum,  in  quaque  familia  seu  alia  Societate,  sorte  vel  alio  fortuito  modo 
eligant  sibi  Regem,  et  convivantes  una  ac  genialiter  viventes,  bibente  rege,  acclamant :  Rex 
bibit,  bibit  Rex,  indicta  multa  qui  non  clamaverit."  See  the  Sylva  Sermonum  jucundissi- 
morum,  8vo.  Bas.  1568,  pp.  73,  246. 

When  the  King  of  Spain  told  the  Count  Olivarez  that  John,  Duke  of  Braganza,  had  obtained 
the  kingdom  of  Portugal,  he  slighted  it,  saying  that  he  was  but  Rey  de  Havas,  a  bean-cake  King 
(a  King  made  by  children  on  Twelfth  Night)."  Anecd.  of  some  distinguished  Persons,  vol.  iii. 
p.  317- 

The  Bean  appears  to  have  made  part  of  the  ceremony  on  chusing  King  and  Queen  in  England ; 
thus,  in  Ben  Jonson's  Masque  of  Christmas,  the  character  of  Baby-Cake  is  attended  by  "  an  Usher 
bearing  a  great  Cake  with  a  bean  and  a  pease."  Whalley's  B.  Jonson,  vol.  vi.  p.  3. 

Misson,  in  his  Travels  in  England,  translated  by  Ozell,  p.  34,  in  a  note  tells  us,  "  On  Twelfth  Day 
they  divide  the  Cake,  alias  choose  King  and  Cjueen,  and  the  King  treats  the  rest  of  the  company." 

&  "Reges  Fabis  creantur."  And  on  the  sixth  day  of  January,  "Festum  Regum}"  as  also 
"  Regna  atque  Epulx  in  multos  dies  exercentur." 

"  De  Ritibus  et  Consuetudinibus  quse  in  Epiphaniarum  solennitate  observantur,  ita  canit 
Thomas  Naogeorgus,  lib.  iv.  Papistic!  Regni : 

"  Venit  hinc  lux  alma  Magorum, 

(Qui  procul  ex  Persis  nato  donaria  Christo 

Stella  portarunt  duce.     Reges  hosce  fuisse, 

Et  tres  duntaxat  censent,  creduntque  papistae. 

Conveniunt  igitur  multi  certique  sodales, 

Atque  creant,  aut  sorte  aut  per  suffragia,  Regem; 

Is  creat  inde  sibi  regali  more  Ministros. 

Turn  convivantur  mult  is  luduntque  diebus, 

Largo  continuasque  trahunt  ex  ordine  mensas, 

Dum  locuii  vacui  fiant,  et  creditor  instet. 

Horum  etiam  pueri  confestim  exempla  sequuntur, 

Et  Rege  electo  poinpaa  mensasque  freqiientant, 

Vel  nummis  furto  raplis,  sumptfive  parentum, 

Ut  simul  et  luxum  cliscant .  scelerataque  furta. 

Hac  etiam 'luce  aedium  herus,  comisque  patronus 

Quisque  facit  magnana  pro  opibus  coetuque  placentam 


22  TWELFTH    DAY. 

There  was  a  custom  similar  to  this  on  the  festive  days  of  Saturn  among  the 
Romans,  Grecians,  &c.  Persons  of  the  same  rank  drew  lots  for  kingdoms, 
and,  like  Kings,  exercised  their  temporary  authority.  Alex,  ab  Alexandra, 
b.  ii.  ch.  22. 

Unum  cui  nummum,  simul  ut  conspergitur  indit. 
Hanc  secat  in  multas,  ut  turba  domestica  suadet, 
Particulas,  datque  uni  unam  cuique :   attamen  istSl 
Lege,  suas  habent  puer  ut  Virgoque  Magique 
Quae  dein  pauperibus  sub  eorum  nomine  dantur. 
Ast  omnes  inter  cui  pars  forte  obtigit  ilia 
Quae  nummum  retinet,   Rex  ille  agnoscitur,  et  mox 
Tollitur  a  eunctis  clamore  ad  sydera  magnu, 
Qui  creta  acceptft,  crucibus  laquearia  pingit 
Omnia:    Vis  ingens  illis  et  magna  potestas 
Daemonas  adversum,   lemuresque  artesque  Magorum. 
Tanta  potest  Rex,  tanta  cruces  quas  dextera  pingit 
Aut  pueri  insani,  aut  famuli,  dominive  prophani. 
Caute  bis  senas  observant  denique  noctes 
A  Natali,   ut  thus  succendat  in  aedibus  unus 
Quisque  pater,  mensaeque  imponat  nocte  propinquk 
Integrum  panem,   ad  prunas  et  thuris  odorem. 
Cernuus  ipse  astat  primus,   naresque  oculosque 
Fumigat,  ac  aures,  et  aperto  ore  haurit  odorem. 
Hunc  spquitur  conjunx,  et  tota  domestica  turba. 
Hoc  prodesse  ferunt,    ne  denies,   lumina,    nares 
Atque  aures  anno  morbis  vexentur  in  illo : 
Postquam  omnes  fumum  thuris  cepere  Sabaei, 
Prunes  insperso  thure  ilicet  arripit  unus, 
Ast  alter  panem,   reliqui  quos  rite  sequuntur, 
Circumeuntque  sedes  praelato  lumine  noctu, 
Ut  ne  dira  fames  defectu  panis  et  esese 
Intret,   neu  Sagae  noceant  molimina  dirae. 
Sunt  qui  duntaxat  faciant  tris  talia  noctes, 
De  causis  iisdem,   totum  tutosque  per  annum 
Se  credunt  fore:   se  Christo  audet  credere  nemo 
Noctibus  his  etiam  divinant,  atque  diebus, 
Totius  ingressi  de  tempestatibus  Anni, 
Unum  mensem  uni  tribuentes  sorte  diei. 
His  etiam  coeunt  juvenes  per  rura  diebus, 
Ascaule  assumpto,  vicosque  urbesque  propinquas 


TWELFTH    DAY.  S3 

The  learned  Moresin  observes,  that  our  ceremony  of  chusing  a  King  on  the 
Epiphany,  or  Feast  of  the  Three  Kings,  is  practised  about  the  same  time  of 
the  year ;  and  that  he  is  called  the  Bean  King,  from  the  lot h. 

This  custom  is  practised  no  where  that  I  know  of  at  present  in  the  North  of 
England,  though  still  very  prevalent  in  the  South.  I  find  the  following  de- 
scription of  it':  After  tea  a  cake  is  produced,  and  two  bowls,  containing  the 

Vestibus  accedunt  cultis,   cantantque  domatim 
In  propriam  ciyusque  incondita  carmina  laudem. 
Unde  ferunt  numraos,  magnamque  per  otia  pradam 
Vel  sibi,  vel  templo  vici:  quasi  non  alioquin 
Passim  a  mendicis  populus,   monachisque  gravetur. 
Sunt  urbes,   ubi  conjunct!  pueri  atque  puelke 
Ihri-  eadem  faciunt:  simul  ac  noctescere  coepit, 
Poma  nucesque  ferunt  cum  nummis  atque  placentis." 

Hospinian  de  Orig.  Fest.  Christ,  fol.   35  b.  36. 

11  "  Regna  sortiri  inter  jEquales  festis  Saturni  diebus,  et  tanquam  Reges  imperitare  mos  fuit : 
qui  etiam  Romanis,  cum  Graecis  et  exteris,  communis  fuit.  Circa  idem  tempus,  inter  sequales, 
Regis  fit  electio  ad  Epiphaniae  nostrae,  seu  trium  Regum  Festum,  et  Rex  Fabaceus  dicitur,  ex  sorte 
Nomen  habens."  Moresini  Papatus,  seu  Depravatae  Relig.  Origo  et  Incrementum,  p.  143. 

1  Joannes  Bnemus  Aubanus  "  Mores,  Leges,  et  Ritus  omnium  Gentium."  l'2mo.  Cenev.  1620, 
p.  266,  gives  the  following  circumstantial  description  of  this  ceremony : 

"  In  Epiphania  Domini  singular  Familiae  ex  melle,  farina,  addito  zinzibere  et  pipere,  libuin 
conficiunt,  et  Regem  sibi  legunt  hoc  modo :  Libuin  materfamilias  facit,  cui  absque  consideratione 
inter  subigendum  denarium  unum  immittit,  postea  amoto  igne  supra  calidum  focum  illud  torret, 
tostum  in  tot  partes  frangit,  quot  homines  familia  habet :  demum  distribuit,  cuique  partem 
unam  tribuens.  Adsignantur  etiam  Christo,  beataeque  Virgini,  et  tribus  Magis  suae  partes,  quse 
loco  Eleemosynae  elargiuntur.  In  cujus  autem  portione  Denarius  repertus  fuerit,  hie  Rex  ab 
omnibus  salutatus,  in  sedem  locatur,  et  ter  in  all  urn  cum  jubilo  elevatur.  Ipse  in  dextera  cretam 
habet,  qua  toties  Signum  Crucis  supra  in  Triclinii  laqueariis  delineat :  quae  Cruces  quod  obstare 
plurimis  inalis  credantur,  in  multa  observatione  habentur." 

Here  we  have  the  materials  of  the  cake,  which  are  flour,  honey,  ginger,  and  pepper.  One  is 
made  for  every  family.  The  maker  thrusts  in,  at  random,  a  small  coin  as  she  is  kneading  it. 
When  it  is  baked,  it  is  divided  into  as  many  parts  as  there  are  persons  in  the  family.  It  is  distri- 
buted, and  each  has  his  share.  Portions  of  it  also  are  assigned  to  Christ,  the  Virgin,  and  the 
three  Magi,  which  are  given  away  in  alms.  Whoever  finds  the  piece  of  coin  in  his  share  is  saluted 
by  all  as  King,  and  being  placed  on  a  seat  or  throne,  is  thrice  lifted  aloft  with  joyful  acclama- 
tions. He  holds  a  piece  of  chalk  in  his  right  hand,  and  each  time  he  is  lifted  up,  makes  a  cross 
on  the  cieling.  These  crosses  we  thought  to  prevent  many  evils,  and  are  much  revered. 


24  TWELFTH    DAY. 

fortunate  chances  for  the  different  sexes.  The  host  fills  up  the  tickets,  and  the 
whole  company,  except  the  King  and  Queen,  are  to  be  ministers  of  state, 
maids  of  honour,  or  ladies  of  the  bed-chamber.  Often,  the  host  and  hostess, 
more  by  design  perhaps  than  accident,  become  King  and  Queen.  According 
to  Twelfth- Day  law,  each  party  is  to  support  his  character  till  midnightk. 

It  appears  that  the  Twelfth  Cake  was  made  formerly  full  of  plums,  and  with 
a  bean  and  pea1:  the  former  whoever  got,  was  to  be  King;  whoever  found  the 
latter,  was  to  be  Queen.  Thus  in  Herrick's  Hesperides,  p.  376  : 

"  TWELFE  NIGHT,  OR  KING  AND  QUEENE. 

"  Now,   now  the    mirth   comes 

With   the  cake    full  of  plums, 
Where  Beane's  the  King  of  the  sport  here ; 

Beside  we  must  know, 

The  Pea  also 
Must  revell,  as  Queene,  in  the  Court  here. 


k  Universal  Magazine,  1774.  In  Ireland  "  On  Twelve-Eve  in  Christmas,  they  use  to  set  up 
as  high  as  they  can  a  sieve  of  oats,  and  in  it  a  dozen  of  candles  set  round,  and  in  the  centre  one 
larger,  all  lighted.  This  in  memory  of  our  Saviour  and  his  Apostles,  lights  of  the  world."  Sir 
Henry  Piers's  Description  of  the  County  of  West  Meath,  1682,  in  Vallancey's  Collectanea  de  Rebus 
Hibernicis,  vol.  i.  No.  I,  p.  1S4. 

A  writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine,  vol.  xxxiv.  for  December  17G4,  p.  599,  thinks  the  prac- 
tice of  chusing  King  and  Queen  on  Twelfth  Night,  owes  its  origin  to  the  custom  among  the 
Romans,  which  they  took  from  the  Grecians,  of  casting  dice  who  should  be  the  Hex  Convivii ;  or 
as  Hoi-ace  calls  him,  the  Arbiter  Bibmdi.  Whoever  threw  the  lucky  cast,  which  they  termed 
Venus,  or  Basiliciu,  gave  laws  for  the  night.  In  the  same  manner  the  lucky  clown,  who  out  of 
the  several  divisions  of  a  plumb-cake  draws  the  King,  thereby  becomes  sovereign  of  the  company; 
and  the  poor  clod-pole,  to  whose  lot  the  Knave  falls,  is  as  unfortunate  as  the  Roman,  whose  hard 
fate  it  was  to  throw  the  dainnoiitm  Caniculum. 

1  So  also  in  Mr.  NichoU's  Queen  Elizabeth's  Progresses,  vol.  ii.  "  Speeches  to  the  Queen  at 
SutUey,"  p.  8 : 

"  MKLinjEUS.      N1SA, 

"  Mel,  Cut  the  cake  :  wlu>  ImUi  il>r  l>e<uie.  nlmll  be  King;  and  where  the/3<aze  is,  shee  shalbe 
Queene, 

"     /Vl«.       I     I..."      H. I      /'"<     '.       "'.'I     Ml     I     '••      '>'."!.'•  A  V>* 'Cttit  ;.,J 

"  Mel.  |H"'  '  Klngi    I  inn. i  coiimmundr." 


TWELFTH    DAY.  25 

Begin  then  to  chuse, 

(This  night  as  ye  use) 
Who  shall  for  the  present  delight  here, 

Be  a  King  by  the  lot, 

And  who  shall  not 
Be  Twelfe-day  Queene  for  the  night  here: 

Which  knowne,  let  us  make 

Joy-sops  with   the  cake ; 
And  let  not  a  man  then  be  «een  here, 

Who  unurg'd  will  not  drinke 

To  the  base  from  the  brink 
A  health  to  the  King  and  the  Queene  here. 

Next  crowne  the  bowle  full 

With  gentle  lambs'-wooll ; 
Adde  sugar,  nutmeg,  and  ginger, 

With  store  of  ale  too ; 

And  thus  ye  must  doe 
To  make  the  Wassaile  a  swinger. 

Give  then  to  the  King 

And  Queene  wassailing; 
And  though  with  ale  ye  be  whet  here ; 

Yet  part  ye  from  hence, 

As  free  from  offence, 
As  when  ye  innocent  met  here." 

And  at  p.  271,  Ibid,  we  find  the  subsequent: 

"  For  sports,  for  Pagentrie,  and  Playes, 
Thou  hast  thy  Eves  and  Holydayes : 
Thy  Wakes,   thy  Quintals,   here  thou  hast, 
Thy  May-poles  too,  with  garlands  grac't ; 

Thus  p.  146,  Ibid,  we  read 

"  Of  Twelf-tide  Cakes,   of  Pease  and  Beanes, 

Wherewith  ye  make  those  merry  sceanes, 

When  as  ye  chuse  your  King  and  Queen, 

And  cry  out,   Hey  for  our  Town  Green." 
VOL.    I.  E 


fi  THKLiTH    DAY. 

Thy  Morris-Dance  ;    thy  Whitsun  Ale  ; 
Thy  Shearing  Feast,  which  never  faile. 
Thy  Harvest  Home;   thy  Wassaile  Bowie, 
That's  tost  up  after  Fox-i'-th'-Hole  ; 
Thy  Mummeries:    thy  Twelfe-tide  Kings 
And  Queens:   thy  Christmas  revellings. 

In  "  The  Popish  Kingdome,"  Barnabe  Googe's  Translation,  or  rather  Adap- 
tation of  Naogeorgus,  already  quoted,  p.  45  b.  we  have  the  following  lines  on 
Twelfe  Day." 

"  The  Wise  Men's  day  here  foloweth,  who  out  from  Persia  farre, 

Brought  gifts  and  presents  unto  Christ,  conducted  by  a  starre. 

The  Papistes  do  beleeve  that  these  were  Kings,  and  so  them  call, 

And  do  affirme  that  of  the  same  there  were  but  three  in  all. 

Here  sundrie  friends  together  come,  and  meete  in  companie, 

And  make  a  King  amongst  themselves  by  voyce  or  destinie : 

Who  after  princely  guise  appoyntes  his  officers  alway, 

Then  unto  feasting  doe  they  go,  and  long  time  after  play  : 

Upon  their  bordes  in  order  tbicke  the  daintie  dishes  stande, 

Till  that  their  purses  emptie  be,  and  creditors  at  hande. 

Their  children  herein  follow  them,   and  choosing  Princes  here, 

With  pompe  and  great  solemnitie,  they  meete  and  make  good  chere  : 

With  money  eytber  got  by  stealth,  or  of  their  parents  eft, 

That  so  they  may  be  traynde  to  know  both  ryot  here  and  theft. 

Then  also  every  householder,  to  his  abilitie, 

Doth  make  a  mightie  cake,  that  may  suffice  his  companie  : 

Herein  a  pennie  doth  he  put,  before  it  come  to  fire, 

This  he  divides  according  as  his  householde  doth  require, 

And  every  peece  distributeth,  as  round  about  they  stand, 

Which  in  their  names  unto  the  poore  is  given  out  of  hand : 

But  who  so  chaunceth  on  the  peece  wherein  the  money  lies, 

Is  counted  King  amongst  them  all,  and  is  with  showtes  and  cries 

Exalted  to  the  heavens  up,  who  taking  chalke  in  handc, 

Doth  make  a  crosse  on  every  beame,  and  rafters  as  they  stande  : 

Great  force  and  povvre  have  these  agaynst  all  injuryes  and  harmes 

Of  cursed  devils,  sprites,  and  bugges,  of  conjurings  and  charmes. 

So  much  this  King  can  do,  so  much  the  crosses  brings  to  passe, 

Made  by  some  servant,  maide,  or  childe,  or  by  some  foolish  asse. 


TWELFTH    DAT.  27 

Twise  sixe  nightes  then  from  Christmasse,  they  do  count  with  diligence, 

Wherein  eche  maister  in  his  house  doth  burne  up  Franckensence ; 

And  on  the  table  settes  a  loafe,  when  night  approcheth  nere, 

Before  the  Coles,  and  Frankensence  to  be  perfumed  there  : 

First  bowing  downe  his  heade  he  standes,  and  nose,  and  eares,  and  eyes, 

He  smokes,  and  with  his  mouth  receyves  the  fume  that  doth  arise : 

Whom  followeth  streight  his  wife,  and  doth  the  same  full  solemnly, 

And  of  their  children  every  one,  and  all  their  family  : 

Wnich  doth  preserve  they  say  their  teeth,  and  nose,  and  eyes,  and  eare, 

From  every  kind  of  maladte  and  sicknesse  all  the  yeare, 

When  every  one  receyved  hath  this  odour,  great  and  small, 

Then  one  takes  up  the  pan  with  Coales  atid  Franckensence  and  all, 

And  other  takes  the  loafe,  whom  all  the  reast  do  follow  here, 

And  round  about  the  house  they  go,  with  torch  or  taper  clere, 

That  neither  bread  nor  meat  do  want,  nor  witch  with  dreadful  charme, 

Have  powre  to  hurt  their  children,  or  to  do  their  cattell  harme. 

There  are  that  three  nightes  onely  do  perfourme  this  foolish  geare, 

To  this  intent,  and  thinke  themselves  in  safetie  all  the  yeare. 

To  Christ  dare  none  commit  himselfe.     And  in  these  dayes  beside, 

They  judge  what  weather  all  the  yeare  shall  happen  and  betide  r^ 

Ascribing  to  ech  day  a  month,  and  at  this  present  time, 

The  youth  in  every  place  doe  flocke,  and  all  apparel'd  fine, 

With  pypars  through  the  streetes  they  runne,  and  sing  at  every  dore, 

In  commendation  of  the  man,  rewarded  well  therefore  : 

Which  on  themselves  they  do  bestowe,  or  on  the  church,  as  though 

The  people  were  not  plagude  with  roges  and  begging  friers  enough. 

There  cities  are,  where  boyes  and  gyrles  together  still  do  runne, 

About  the  street  with  like,  as  soon  as  night  beginnes  to  come, 

And  bring  abrode  their  Wassell  Bowles,  who  well  rewarded  bee, 

With  cakes  and  cheese,  and  great  good  cheare,  and  money  plenteouslee." 

In  Gloucestershire  there  is  a  custom  on  Twelfth  Day,  of  having  twelve  small 
fires  made,  and  one  large  one,  in  many  parishes  in  that  county,  in  honour  of 
the  daym. 

m  "  In  the  South-hams  of  Devonshire,  on  the  Eve  of  the  Epiphany,  the  fanner  attended  by 
his  workmen,  with  a  large  pitcher  of  cyder,  goes  to  the  orchard,  and  there,  encircling  one  of  the 
best  bearing  trees,  they  drink  the  following  toast  three  several  times  : 


28  TWELFTH    DAY. 

The  same  is   done  in  Herefordshire,    under  the  name   of  Wassailing,   as 

follows : 

At  the  approach  of  the  evening  on  the  vigil  of  the  Twelfth  Day,  the  farmers, 
with  their  friends  and  servants,  meet  together,  and  about  six  o'clock  walk  out 
to  a  field  where  wheat  is  growing.  In  the  highest  part  of  the  ground,  twelve 

"  Here's  to  thee,  old  apple-tree, 

Whence  thou  may'st  bud,   and  whence  thou  may'st  blow ! 
And  whence  thou  may'st  bear  apples  enow ! 

Hats  full !   caps  full ! 

Bushel — bushel — sacks  full, 

And  my  pockets  full  too!  Huzza! 

This  done,  they  return  to  the  house,  the  doors  of  which  they  are  sure  to  find  bolted  by  the 
females,  who,  be  the  weather  what  it  may,  are  inexorable  to  all  intreaties  to  open  them  till  some 
one  has  guessed  at  what  is  on  the  spit,  which  is  generally  some  nice  little  thing,  difficult  to  be  hit 
on,  and  is  the  reward  of  him  who  first  names  it.  The  doors  are  then  thrown  open,  and  the  lucky 
clodpole  receives  the  tit-bit  as  his  recompencc.  Some  are  so  superstitious  as  to  believe,  that  if 
they  neglect  this  custom,  the  trees  will  bear  no  apples  that  year."  Gent.  Mag.  1791,  p.  403. 

On  the  Eve  of  Twelfth  Day,  as  a  Cornish  man  informed  me,  on  the  edge  of  St.  Stephen's 
Down,  October  28,  1790,  it  is  the  custom  for  the  Devonshire  people  to  go  after  supper  into  the 
orchard,  with  a  large  milk-pan  full  of  cider,  having  roasted  apples  pressed  into  it. .  Out  of  this 
each  person  in  company  takes  (what  is  called  a  clayen  cup,  i.  e.)  an  earthen-ware  cup  .  full  of 
liquor,  and  standing  under  each  of  the  more  fruitful  apple  trees,  passing  by  those  that  are  not 

good  bearers,  he  addresses  it  in  the  following  words  : 

*>  '  o  j  a.'>i.y_i    «nY< 

"  Health  to  thee,  good  apple  tree, 
Well  to  bear,  pocket-fulls,  hat-fulls, 
Peck-fulls,  bushel-bag-fulls !" 

And  then  drinking  up  part  of  the  contents,  he  throws  the  rest,  with  the  fragments  of  the  roasted 
apples,  at  the  tree.    At  each  cup  the  company  set  up  a  shout. 
So  we  read  in  the  Glossary  to  the  Exmore  dialect : 

"  Watsail,  a  drinking  song,  sung  on  Twelfth-day  Eve,  throwing  toast  to  the  apple  trees,  in 
order  to  have  a  fruitful  year,  which  seems  to  be  a  relic  of  the  heathen  sacrifice  to  Pomona." 

This  seems  to  have  been  done  in  some  places  upon  Christmas  Eve ;  for  in  Herrick's  Hesperides, 
p.  311,  I  find  the  following  among  the  Christmas  Eve  ceremonies : 

"  Wassaile  the  trees,  that  they  may  beare 
You  many  a  plum,  and  many  a  peare ; 
For  more  or  lesse  fruits  they  will  bring, 
As  you  do  give  them  wassailing." 

Sir  Thomas  Ackland;  bart.  informed  me  at  Werington,  October  24th,  1790,  that  this  was  done 
in  his  neighbourhood  on  Christmas  Eve.  See  also  Gent.  Mag.  1791,  p.  116.  ArchseoL  vol.  si. 
f .  490. 


TWELFTH    DAY.  Sff 

small  fires",  and  one  large  one,  are  lighted  up.  The  attendants,  headed  by 
the  master  of  the  family,  pledge  the  company  in  old  cyder,  which  circulates 
freely  on  these  occasions.  A  circle  is  formed  round  the  large  fire,  when  a 
general  shout  and  hallooing  takes  place,  which  you  hear  answered  from  all  the 
adjacent  villages  and  fields.  Sometimes  fifty  or  sixty  of  these  fires-  may  be  all 
seen  at  once.  This  being  finished,  the  company  return  home,  where  the  good 
housewife  and  her  maids  are  preparing  a  good  supper.  A  large  cake  is  always 
provided,  with  a  hole  in  the  middle.  •  After  supper,  the  company  all  attend  the 
bailiff  (or  head  of  the  oxen)  to  the  Wain-house,  where  the  following  particulars 
are  observed :  The  master,  at  the  head  of  his  friends,  fills  the  cup  (generally 
of  strong  ale),  and  stands  opposite  the  first  or  finest  of  the  oxen.  He  then 
pledges  him  in  a  curious  toast :  the  company  follow  his  example  with  all  the 
other  oxen,  addressing  each  by  his  name.  This  being  finished,  the  large  cake 
is  produced,  and,  with  much  ceremony,  put  on  the  horn  of  the  first  ox,  through 
the  hole  above-mentioned.  The  ox  is  then  tickled,  to  make  him  toss  his  head: 
if  he  throw  the  cake  behind,  then  it  is  the  mistress's  perquisite;  if  before  (in 
what  is  termed  the  boosy),  the  bailiff  himself  claims  the  prize.  The  company 
then  return  to  the  house,  the  doors  of  which  they  find  locked,  nor  will  they 
be  opened  till  some  joyous  songs  are  sung.  On  their  gaining  admittance,  a 
scene  of  nakth  and  jollity  ensues,  and  which  lasts  the  greatest  part  of  the 
night  °. 

*  The  learned  Gebelin  tells  us:   "  Dans  quelques  Provinces  d'Ahgleteife,  on  allume  des  feux 
sur  les  collines  la  nuit  de  la  Ffite  des  Rois.    Les  Chandelles  des  Rots  en  usage  dans  ce  Royaume 
doivent  etre  une  euite  des  meme  Usages,  de  ces  flambeaux  allume's  pour  chercher  quelque  per- 
sonage cele'bre.      Aussi  est-ce  2.  cette  £poque  qu'on  a  place  le  Voyage  tie  Mages  pour  chercher  le 
nouveau    Roi  de  1'Univers;  et  c'est  leur   F6te  qu'on  ce'le'bre  sous  ce  nom  de  Fete  des  Rois.'' 
Monde  Primitif,  torn.  iv.  p.  2SO;     Hist.  Relig,  du  Calendrier. 

He  adds,  "  Adjutons  que  pendant  un  grand  nombre  de  si^cles,  les  Conciles  ont  et&  occupe's  a 
extirper  une  part  ie  des  Usages  qu'on  avoit  conserves  en  Europe  de  ces  terns  anciens :  tels  que 
d'orner  de  lauriers  les  portes  de  Maisons  au  jour  de  Fan  ;  telles  encores  les  Mascarades,  les  Illu- 
minations, les  Courses  nocturnes,  qui  avoient  lieu  ce  meme  jour,  sur-tout,  la  Fete  des  Foux, 
qu'on  celebroit  le  jour  de  Noel  en  certains  endroits,  le  jour  do  1'An  oa  lo-jow-de»  Rois  en  beau- 
coup  d'autres.  On  y  dlisoit  un  Roi,  un  Pape,  un  Eveque,  des  Abbes,  &c.  pour  representer  la 
Legislation  de  la  nouvelle  Annee." 

•  Gent.  Mag.  February,  1791.     Mr.  Pennant,  in  his  account  of  this  custom,  says,  "  that  after 
they  have  drunk  a  chearful  glass  to  their  master's  health,  success  to  the  future  harvest,  &c.  then 
returning  home,  they'feast  on  cakes  made  of  carraways,  &c.  soak'd 'in  cyder,  which  they  claim  as 


30  TWELFTH    DAT. 

In  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  for  February  1784,  Mr.  Beckwith  tells  us, 
p.  98,  that  "  near  Leedes,  in  Yorkshire,  when  he  was  a  boy,  it  was  customary 
for  many  families,  on  the  Twelfth  Eve  of  Christmas,  to  invite  their  relations, 
friends,  and  neighbours,  to  their  houses,  to  play  at  cards,  and  to  partake  of  a 
supper,  of  which  minced  pies  were  an  indispensable  ingredient ;  and  after  sup- 
per was  brought  in,  the  Wassail  Cup  or  Wassail  Bowl,  of  which  every  one 
partook,  by  taking  with  a  spoon,  out  of  the  ale,  a  roasted  apple,  and  eating  it, 
and  then  drinking  the  healths  of  the  company  out  of  the  bowl,  wishing  them  a 
merry  Christmas  and  a  happy  New  Year.  (The  festival  of  Christmas  used 
in  this  part  of  the  country  to  hold  for  twenty  days,  and  some  persons  extended 
it  to  Candlemas.)  The  ingredients  put  into  the  bowl,  viz.  ale,  sugar,  nutmeg, 
and  roasted  apples,  were  usually  called  Lambs'  Wool,  and  the  night  on  which 
it  is  used  to  be  drunk  (generally  on  the  Twelfth  Eve)  was  commonly  called 
Wassail  Eve."  This  custom  is  now  disused. 

A  Nottinghamshire  correspondent  (Ibid.)  says,  "  that  when  he  was  a  school- 
boy, the  practise  on  Christmas  Eve  was  to  roast  apples  on  a  string  till  they  dropt 
into  a  large  bowl  of  spiced  ale,  which  is  the  whole  composition  of  Lambs'  fFbol." 
It  is  probable  that  from  the  softness  of  this  popular  beverage  it  has  gotten  the 
above  name.  See  Shakspeare's  Midsummer  Night's  Dream. 

"  Sometimes  lurk  I  in  a  Gossips'  bowl, 


In  very  likeness  of  a  roasted  crab ; 

And  when  she  drinks,  against  her  lips  I  bob, 

And  on  her  wither'd  dew-lap  pour  the  ale." 

In  "Vox  Graculi,"  4to,  1623,  p.  52,  speaking  of  the  sixth  of  January,  the 
writer  tells  us,  "  This  day,  about  the  houres  of  5,  6,  7,  8,  9,  and  10;  yea 
in  some  places  till  midnight  well  nigh,  will  be  such  a  massacre  of  spice-bread, 
that,  ere  the  next  day  at  noone,  a  two-penny  brown  loafe  will  set  twenty  poore 
folkes  teeth  on  edge.  Which  hungry  humour  will  hold  so  violent,  that  a  num- 
ber of  good  fellowes  will  not  refuse  to  give  a  statute  marchant  of  all  the  lands 

a  reward  for  their  past  labours  in  sowing  the  grain.  This,"  he  observes,  "  seems  to  resemble  a 
custom  of  the  antient  Danes,  who  in  their  addresses  to  their  rural  deities,  emptied  on  every  invo- 
cation a  cup  in  honour  of  them."  "  Niordi  et  Frejse  memoria  poculis  recolebatur,  annua  ut  ipsis 
contingeret  felicitas,  frugumque  et  reliquae  Annonae  uberrimus  proventus."  Worm.  Monument. 
Dan.  lib.  i.  p.  28.  See  note  in  Pennant's  Tour  in  Scotland,  edit.  8vo.  Chester,  1771,  p.  91. 


TWELFTH    DAY.  31 

and  goods  they  enjoy,  for  halfe-a-crowne's  worth  of  two-penny  pasties.  On 
tins  night  much  masking  in  the  Strand,  Cheapside,  Holburne,  or  Fleet-Street." 

Waldron,  in  his  Description  of  the  Isle  of  Man  (Works,  folio,  p.  15.5)  says  : 
"  There  is  not  a  barn  unoccupied  the  whole  twelve  days,  every  parish  hiring 
fidlers  at  the  publick  charge.  On  Twelfth  Day,  the  fidler  lays  his  head  in  some 
one  of  the  wenches  laps,  and  a  third  person  asks,  who  such  a  maid,  or  such  a 
maid  shall  marry,  naming  the  girls  then  present  one  after  another  ;  to  which 
he  answers  according  to  his  own  whim,  or  agreeable  to  the  intimacies  he  has 
taken  notice  of  during  this  time  of  merriment.  But  whatever  he  says  is  as  abso- 
lutely depended  on  as  an  oracle  ;  and  if  he  happens  to  couple  two  people  who 
have  an  aversion  to  each  other,  tears  and  vexation  succeed  the  mirth.  This 
they  call  cutting  off  the  fidler's  head  ;  for,  after  this,  he  is  dead  for  the  whole 
year." 

In  a  curious  Collection  entitled  "  Wit  a  sporting  in  a  pleasant  Grove  of  New 
Fancies,  by  H.  B."  8vo.  Lond.  1657,  p.  80,  I  find  the  following  description  of 
the  pleasantries  of  what  is  there  called 

"  ST.  DISTAFF'S  DAY,  OR  THE  MORROW  AFTER  TWELFH-DAY. 

"  Partly  worke  and  partly  play, 

You  must  on  St.  Distaff's  day  : 

From  the  plough  soon  free  your  teame  ; 

Then  come  home  and  fother  them  : 

If  the  Maides  a  spinning  goe, 

Burne  the  flax  and  fire  the  tow; 

Scorch  their  plackets,  but  beware 

That  ye  singe  no  maiden  -hair  e. 

Bring  in  pales  of  water  then, 

Let  the  maids  bewash  the  men. 

Give  St.  Distaff  all  the  right  : 

Then  bid  Christmas-sport  good  night. 

And  next  morrow;  every  one 

To  his  owne  vocation." 

This  is  also  in  Herrick's  Hesperides,  p.  374. 

••,<•>.  A 


X 
\ 


32  TWELFTH   DAY. 

It  may  rather  seem  to  belong  to  religious  than  popular  customs  to  mention, 
on  the  authority  of  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  for  January  1731,  p.  25,  that 
at  the  Chapel-Royal  at  St.  James's,  on  Twelfth  Day  that  year,  "  the  King  and 
the  Prince  made  the  offerings  at  the  altar  of  gold,  frankincense,  and  myrrh, 
according  to  custom.  At  night  their  Majesties,  &c.  played  at  Hazard,  for  the 
benefit  of  the  groom-porter." 


ST.  AGNES'  DAY,  OR  EVE, 
(January  21.) 

ST.  AGNES  was  a  Roman  virgin  and  martyr,  who  suffered  in  the  tenth 
persecution  under  the  Emperor  Dioclesian,  A.  D.  306*.  She  was  condemned 
to  be  debauched  in  the  public  stews  before  her  execution,  but  her  virginity  was 
miraculously  preserved  by  lightning  and  thunder  from  Heaven.  About  eight 
days  after  her  execution,  her  parents  going  to  lament  and  pray  at  her  tomb, 
they  saw  a  vision  of  angels,  among  whom  was  their  daughter,  and  a  lamb 
standing  by  her  as  white  as  snow,  on  which  account  it  is  that  in  every  graphic 
representation  of  her,  there  is  a  lamb  pictured  by  her  sideb. 

On  the  eve  of  her  day  many  kinds  of  divination  are  practised  by  virgins  to 
discover  their  future  husbands0. 

1  Wheatley  on  the  Common  Prayer,  8vo.  Lond.  1741,  p.  59. 

*  In  the  Office  for  St.  Agnes'  Day  in  the  Missale  ad  usum  Sarum,  1554,  this  passage  occurs : 
"  Hec  est  Virgo  sapiens,  quam  Dominus  vigilantem  invenit."  The  Gospel  is  the  parable  of  the 

Virgins. 

c  This  is  called  fasting  St.  Agnes'  Fast.    The  following  lines  of  Ben  Jonson  allude  to  this : 
"  And  on  sweet  St.  Agnes'  night 
Please  you  with  the  promis'd  sight, 
Some  of  husbands,  some  of  lovers, 
Which  an  empty  dream  discovers." 

Aubrey,  in  his  Miscellanies,  p.  136,  directs  that  "  Upon  St.  Agnes'  Night  you  take  a  row  of  pins, 
and  pull  out  every  one,  one  after  another,  saying  a  Pater  Noster,  sticking  a  pin  in  your  sleeve, 
and  you  will  dream  of  him  or  her  you  shall  marry." 


ST.   AGXES'  DAY,    OR    EVE.  S3 

The  following  is  the  account  of  this  festival,  as  preserved  in  the  Transla- 
tion of  Naogeorgus  (fol.  46  b.) : 

"  SAINT  AGNES: 

"  Then  commes  in  place  St.  Agnes'  Day,  which  here  in  Germanic 
Is  not  so  much  esteemde  nor  kept  with  such  solemnitie  : 
But  in  the  Popish  Court  it  standes  in  passing  hie  degree, 
As  spring  and  head  of  wondrous  gaine,  and  great  commoditee. 
For  in  St.  Agnes'  church  upon  this  day  while  masse  they  sing, 
Two  lambes  as  white  as  snowe,  the  Nonnes  dp  yfcarely  use  to  hring  : 
And  when  the  Agnus  chaunted  is,  upon  the  aultar  hie, 
(For  in  this  thing  there  hidden  is  a  solemne  mysterie) 
They  offer  them.     The  servaunts  of  the  Pope,  when  this  is  done, 
Do  put  them  into  pasture  good  till  shearing  time  be  come. 
Then  other  wooll  they  mingle  with  these  holy  fleeses  twaine, 
Wherof,  being  sponne  and  drest,  are  made  the  Pals  of  passing  gaine." 

A  passage  not  unsimilar  occurs  in  "  The  present  state  of  the  Manners,  £c.  of 
Trance  and  Italy — in  Poetical  Epistles  to  Robert  Jephson,  esq."  8vo.  Lond. 
1794.  From  Rome,  February  14,  1793,  p.  58. 

"  St.  Agnes' s  sJtrine ; 

Where  each  pretty  2>a-lamb  most  gayly  appears, 
With  ribbands  stuck  round  on  its  tail  and  its  cars ; 
On  gold  fringed  cushions  they're  stretcli'd  out  to  cat, 
And  piously  ba,  and  to  church-musick  bleat ; 
Yet  to  me  they  seem'd  crying — alack,  and  alas ! 

What's  all  this  white  damask  to  daisies   and  grass ! 
-ijiO/JVo'lU    ,>''.'   •'•',:'*'-'  'f'ol  i    '  -• 

I  find  the  subsequent  curious  passage  concerning  St.  Agnes  in  the  Portiforium  seu  Breviarium 
Ecclesiae  Sarisburiensis,  fol.  Par.  15.56.  Pars  Hyemalis  : 

•"  Cunque  interrogasset  Preses  quis  esset  sponsus  de  cujus  se  Agnes  potestate  gloriabatur:  exfetitit 
quidam  ex  parasitis  qui  diceret  hanc  Christianam  esse  ab  iufantia,  et  magicis  artibus  ita  occupntam, 
ut  dicatur  Sponsum  suum  Christum  esse.  R.  Jam  corpus  ejus  corpori  mco  sociatum  est,  et 
sanguis  ejus  ornavit  genas  meas.  Cujus  mater  Virgo  est,  cujus  pater  feminom  nescit.  V.  Ipsi  sum 
desponsata  cui  AngeU  serviunt,  cujus  pulchritudincm  Sol  et  Luna  mirantur.  Cujus  mater  Virgo." 

•Burton,  in  his  Anatomy  of  Melancholy  (edit.  1GCO,  p.  538),  speaks  of  Maids  fasting  on  St. 
Agnes'  Eve,  to  know  who  shall  be  their  first  Husband. 
VOL.    I.  .  F 


54  ST.  AGNES'  DAT,  OR  EVE. 

Then  they're  brought  to  the  Pope,  and  with  transport  they're  kiss'd, 

And  receive  consecration  from  Sanctity's  fist : 

To  chaste  Nuns  he  consigns  them,  instead  of  their  dams, 

And  orders  the  Friars  to  keep  them  from  rams." 


ST.  VINCENT'S  DAY, 
(January 


MR.  DOUCE's  manuscript  Notes  say,  "  Vincent!  festo  si  Sol  radiet  memor 
esto  :"  thus  Englished  by  Abraham  Fleming, 

"  Remember  on  St.  Vincent's  Day, 
If  that  the  sun  his  beams  display." 

Scot's  Discov.  of  Witchcraft,  b.  xi.  c.  15. 


ST.  PAUL'S  DAY, 
(January  Z5-} 

I  DO  not  find  that  any  one  lias  even  hazarded  a  conjecture  why  prognosti- 
cations of  the  weather,  &c.  for  the  whole  year,  are  to  be  drawn  from  the  ap- 
pearance of  this  day. 

In  an  antient  Calendar  of  the  Church  of  Rome,  which  will  frequently  be 
quoted  in  the  course  of  this  work,  there  is  the  following  remark  on  the  vigil 

of  St.  Paul : 

"  Dies  Egyptiacus." 

Why  it  is  called  "  an  Egyptian  Day,"  I  confess  myself  to  be  entirely  ignorant. 

Lloyd,  in  his  Diall  of  Daies,  observes  on  St.  Paul's,  that  "  of  this  day  the 
husbandmen  prognosticate  the  whole  year :  if  it  be  a  fair  day,  it  will  be  a  plea- 


ST.  TAUL'S  DAY.  35 

Santyear;  if  it  be  windy,  there  will  be  wars;   if  it  be  cloudy,  it  doth  foreshow 
the  plague  that  year  *." 

Hospinian,  also,  tells  us  that  it  is  a  critical  day  with  the  vulgar,  indicating,  if 
it  be  clear,  abundance  of  fruits;  if  windy,  foretelling  wars;  if  cloudy,  the 
pestilence;  if  rainy  or  snowy,  it  prognosticates  dearness  and  scarcity1*:  accord- 
ing to  the  old  Latin  verses,  thus  translated  in  Bourne's  Antiquities  of  the 
Common  People : 

"  If  St.  Paul's  Day  be  fair  and  clear, 

It  doth  betide  a  happy  year; 

If  blustering  winds  do  blow  aloft, 

Then  wars  will  trouble  our  realm  full  oft; 


1  In  the  antient  Calendar  above  quoted  I  find  an  observation  on  the  thirteenth  of  December, 
"  That  on  this  day  prognostications  of  the  months  were  drawn  for  the  whole  year." 
"  Prognostica  mensium  per  totum  annum." 

In  "The  Shepherd's  Almanack"  for  1676,  among  the  Observations  on  the  month  of  January,  we 
find  the  following  :  "  Some  say  that  if  on  the  12th  of  January  the  sun  shines,  it  foreshews  much 
wind.  Others  predict  by  St.  Paul's  Day ;  saying,  if  the  sun  shine,  it  betokens  a  good  year ;  if 
it  rain  or  snow,  indifferent ;  if  misty,  it  predicts  great  dearth ;  if  it  thunder,  great  winds,  and 
death  of  people  that  year." 

Thomas  Lodge,  in  his  most  rare  work  entitled  "  Wit's  Miserie,  and  the  World's  Madnesse ; 
discovering  the  Devils  Incamat  of  this  Age,"  4to.  Lond.  1596,  glances  in  the  following  quaint 
manner  at  the  superstitions  of  this  and  St.  Peter's  Day,  p.  12,  "  And  by  S.  Peter  and  S.  Paule 
the  fool  rideth  him." 

b  "  Est  hie  dies  apud  Plebem  criticus,  utpote  cujus  serenitas  fructuum  abundantiatn,  venti 
bella,  nebulae  pestem,  nix  et  pluvia  caritatem  indicare  creduntur.  Unde  hi  sunt  versiculi  qui 
omnium  ore  circumferuntur. 

"  Clara  dies  Pauli  bona  tempora  denotat  Anni. 

Si  fuerint  Venti  designant  praelia  Genti. 

Si  fuerint  Nebulae  pereunt  animalia  quaeque. 

Si  Nix,  si  Pluvia,  designant  tempora  cara.     Sed  concludendum 

Ne  credas  certe,  nam  fallit  Kegiila  soepe. 

**  Est  enim  hoc  genus  divinationis,  quod  ^x^xin  xoiv«»  »  S^taS-n,  Latine,  populare  vel  plebeium 
nominant,  quia  imperitae  Plebi  in  usu  est,  et  propterea  etiam  saepe  fullit;  nam  non  inquibitU 
causts  eventuum  in  natura,  nee  considerato  signorum  cum  rebus  signilicatis  consensu,  ex  iis 
solum,  quae  ut  plurimum  eodem  modo  evenire  iisdem  antegressis  signis  animadverterunt  ac 
notarunt,  de  miiltiplicibus  eventibus,  de  tempestatum  coelique  mutationibus,  de  frugum  et 
fruhuum  proventu,  de  ubertate  vel  caritate  annonae,  de  aeris  salubritate  vel  infectione,  deque 
bellis  et  similibus  modo  feliciter,  modo  infeUciter  divinant." — Hespin.  de  Orig.  Fest.  Christian, 
fol.  38. 


36'  ST.    I'AUlJS    DAY. 

And  if  it  chance  to  snow  or  rain, 
Then  will  be  dear  all  sorts  of  grain '."• 

Bishop  Hall,  in  his  Characters  of  Virtues  and  Vices,  speaking  of  the  super- 
stitious man,  observes  that  "  Saint  Panics  Day  and  Saint  Swithines,  with  the 
Twelve,  are  his  oracles,  which  he  dares  believe  against  the  ahnanacke." 


«  The  Latin  is  given  different  in  Hearne's  edition  of  Robert  of  Avesbury's  History  of  Edward 

III.  p.  26G : 

"  Clara  dies  Panli  bona  tempora  denotat  anni. 

Si  Nix  vel  PJuvia,  designant  Tempora  cara. 
Si  fiant  Nebulae,  moricntur  Bestia  qua:que. 
Si  fiant  Vcnti,  prceliabunt  prcelia  genti." 

Thus  translated  (Ibid.)  under  the  title  of  "  The  Saying  of  Erra  Pater  to  the  Husbandman  :" 
"  If  the  Day  of  St.  Paule  be  cleere, 
Then  shall  betide  an  happie  yeere  : 
If  it  doe  chaunce  to  snow  or  raine, 
Then  shall  bee  deare  all  kinde  of  graine. 
But  if  the  winde  then  bee  alofte, 
VVarres  shall  vex  this  rcalme  full  oft : 
And  if  the  cloudcs  make  darke  the  skie, 
Both  ueate  and  fowle  this  yeare  shall  dye." 

Willsford,  in  his  Nature's  Secrets,  p.  145,  tells  us:  "Some  observe  the  25  day  of  January, 
celebrated  for  the  Conversion  of  St.  Paul;  if  fair  and  clear,  plenty;  if  cloudy  or  misty,  much 
cattle  will  die ;  if  rain  or  snow  fall  that  day,  it  presages  a  dearth  ;  and,  if  windy,  wars ;  as  old 
wives  do  dream."  He  gives  the  verses  as  follow  : 

"  If  Saint  Paul's  Day  be  fair  and  clear, 

It  does  betide  a  happy  year; 

Hut  if  it  chance  to  snow  or  rain, 

Then  will  be  dear  all  kind  of  grain : 

If  clouds  or  mists  do  dark  the  skie, 

Great  store  of  birds  and  beasts  shall  die; 

And  if  the  winds  do  fly  aloft, 

Then  wars  shall  vex  the  kingdome  oft." 

He  farther  informs  us  that  "  Others  observe  the  twelve  Days  of  Christmas,  to  foreshow  the 
weather  in  all  the  twelve  succeeding  moneths  respectively." 

A  pleasant  writer  in  the  World,  No.  1O,  (I  believe  the  late  Lord  Oiford)  speaking  on  the 
alteration  of  the  Stile,  observes :  "  Who  that  hears  the  following  verses,  but  must  grieve  for  the 
Shepherd  and  Husbandman,  who  may  have  all  their  prognostics  confounded,  and  be  at  a  loss  to 
know  beforehand  the  fate  of  their  markets  ?  Antient  Sages  sung, 

•"  If  St.  Paul  be  fair  and  clear/  &c." 


ST.    PAUL'S    DAY.  37 

The  prognostications  on  St.  Paul's  Day  are  thus  elegantly  modernized  by 
Gay,  in  his  Trivia: 

"  All  superstition  from  thy  breast  repel, 
Let  cred'lous  boys  and  prattling  nurses  tell 
How,  if  the  Festival  of  Paul  be  clear, 
Plenty  from  lib'ral  horn   shall  strow  the  year; 
When   the  dark  skies  dissolve   in  snow  or  rain, 
The  lab'  ring  hind  shall  yoke  the  steer  in  vain; 
But  if  the  threat'ning  winds  in  tempests  roar, 
Then  War  shall  bathe  her  wasteful  sword  in  gore." 

*  •' 

He  concludes, 

"  Let  no  such  vulgar  tales  debase  thy  mind, 

Nor  Paul,  nor  Swithin,  rule  the  clouds  and  wind.*' 

Schenkius,  in  his  Treatise  on  Images,  chap.  13,  says,  it  is  a  custom  in  many 
parts  of  Germany  to  drag  the  images  of  St.  Paul  and  St.  Urban  to  the  river, 
if  on  the  clay  of  their  feast  it  happens  to  be  foul  weather. 

Bourne  observes  upon  St.  Paul's  Day,  "  How  it  came  to  have  this  particular 
knack  of  foretelling  the  good  or  ill  fortune  of  the  following  year,  is  no  easy 
matter  to  find  out.  The  Monks,  who  were  undoubtedly  the  first  who  made 
this  wonderful  observation,  have  taken  care  it  should  be  handed  down  to  poste- 
rity, but  why  or  for  what  reason  this  observation  was  to  stand  good,  they  have 
taken  care  to  conceal.  St.  Paul  did  indeed  labour  more  abundantly  than  all  the 
Apostles  ;  but  never,  that  I  heard,  in  the  science  of  Astrology.  And  why  his 
day  should  therefore  be  a  standing  almanack  to  the  world,  rather  than  the  day 
of  any  other  Saint,  w-ill  be  pretty  hard  to  find  outd. 

d  Chap,  xviii. 


ut  , 


,  6  I'Jutfi.  rut    •x.o:)£iX>Tru>'J  'lo  uaijj'I  ;,  •«!  )>•>;.:.')'.!;  .wS  i-,.  '.  UL.:. 


38 


CANDLEMASS  DAY, 

(February  2.) 

THE    PURIFICATION    OF   THE    VIRGIN    MAKT. 

THIS  is  called  in  the  North  of  England  the  Wives  Feast  Day.  The  name 
of  Candlemass  is  evidently  derived  from  the  lights  which  were  then  distributed 
and  carried  about  in  procession  a. 

In  the  antient  Calendar  of  the  Romish  Church,  before  cited,  I  find  the  sub- 
sequent observations  on  the  2d  of  February,  usually  called  Candlemass  Day : 

"  Torches  are  consecrated. 

Torches  are  given  away  for  many  days b." 


«  Mr.  Deuce's  MS  Notes  say,  "  This  feast  is  called  by  the  Greeks  vvctmalat,  which  signifies  a 
Meeting,  because  Simeon  and  Anna  the  prophetess  met  in  the  Temple  at  the  presentation  of  our 
Saviour."  L'Estrange's  Alliance  of  Divine  Offices,  p.  147.  See  Luke  ii.  —  At  the  celebration  of 
the  Feavt  of  Corpus  Christ!,  at  Aix  in  Provence,  there  is  a  procession  of  Saints,  among  whom  St. 
Simeon  is  represented  with  a  mitre  and  cap,  carrying  in  his  left  hand  a  basket  of  eggs.  Hist,  de 
la  Fete  Dieu,  p.  100. 

b  "  Feb.  2.  Purificatio  Virginis 
Faces  consecrantur. 
Faces  dantur  multis  diebus." 

"  To  beare  their  Candels  soberly,  and  to  offer  them  to  the  Saintes,  not  of  God's  makynge,  but 
the  Carvers  and  Paynters,"  is  mentioned  among  the  Roman  Catholic  customs  censured  by  John 
Bale  in  his  "  Declaration  of  Bonner's  Articles,"  1554,  signal,  n.  4  b.;  as  is  Ibid,  fol.  18  b.  "  to 
conjure  Candels." 

In  the  first  volume  of  Proclamations,  &c.  folio,  remaining  in  the  Archives  of  the  Society  of 
Antiquaries  of  London,  is  preserved,  p.  138,  an  original  one,  printed  in  black  letter,  and  dated 
26th  February,  3O  Hen.  VIII.  "  concernyng  Rites  and  Ceremonies  to  be  used  in  due  fourme  in 
the  Churche  of  Englande,"  in  which  we  read  as  follows : 

"  On  Candelmas  Daye  it  shall  be  declared,  that  the  bearynge  of  Candels  is  clone  in  the  memorie 
of  Christe,  the  spiiituall  lyghte,  whom  Simeon  dyd  prophecye,  as  it  is  redde  in  the  Churche  that 
daye." 

The  same  had  been  declared  by  a  Decree  of  Convocation.     See  Fuller's  Church  History,  p.  222. 


CANDLEMASS    DAT.  3<J 

Pope  Sergius,  says  Becon,  in  his  "  Reliques  of  Rome,"  fol.  1 64,  commanded 
that  all  the  people  "  shuld  go  on  procession  upon  Candlemass  Day,  and  carry 
Candels  about  with  them  brenning  in  their  hands  in  the  year  of  our  Lord  684 c." 

How  this  Candle-bearing  on  Candlemass  Day  came  first  up,  the  author  of 
our  English  Festival  declareth  in  this  manner :  "  Somtyrne,"  saith  he,  "  when 
the  Romanies  by  great  myght  and  royal  power,  conquered  all  the  world,  they 
were  so  proude,  that  they  forgat  God,  and  made  them  divers  gods  after  their  own 
lust.  And  so  among  all  they  had  a  god  that  they  called  Mars,  that  had  been 
tofore  a  notable  knight  in  battayle  ;  and  so  they  prayed  to  hym  for  help,  and 
for  that  they  would  speed  the  better  of  this  knight,  the  people  prayed  and  did 
great  worship  to  his  mother,  that  was  called  Februa,  after  which  woman  much 
people  have  opinion  that  the  moneth  February  is  called.  VVherefore  the  second 
daie  of  thys  moneth  is  Candlernass  Day.  The  Romanies  this  night  went  about 
the  city  of  Rome  with  torches  and  candles  brenning  in  worship  of  this  woman 
Februa,  for  hope  to  have  the  more  helpe  and  succoure  of  her  sonne  Mars. 

"  Then  there  was  a  Pope  that  was  called  Sergius,  and  when  he  saw  Christian 
people  draw  to  this  false  maumctry  and  untrue  belief,  he  thought  to  undo  this 
foule  use  and  custom,  and  turn  it  unto  God's  worship  and  our  Lady's,  and  gave 
commandment  that  all  Christian  people  should  come  to  church  and  offer  up  a 
Candle  brennyng,  in  the  worship  that  they  did  to  this  woman  Februa,  and  do 
worship  to  our  Lady  and  to  her  sonne  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ.  So  that  now 
this  Feast  is  solemnly  hallowed  thorowe  all  Christendome.  And  every  Chris- 
tian man  and  woman  of  covenable  age  is  bound  to  come  to  church  and  offer  up 
their  Candles,  as  though  they  were  bodily  with  our  Lady,  hopyng  for  this 
reverence  and  worship,  that  they  do  to  our  Ladye  to  have  a  great  rcwarde  in 
Heaven,"  &c.d 

In  Herbert's  "Country  Parson,"  I2tno.  Lond.  1675,  third  impression,  p.  157,  he  tells  us, 
"  Another  old  custom  (he  had  been  speaking  of  PROCESSIONS)  there  is,  of  saying,  when  light  is 
brought  in,  Go'd-sendus-the  light  of  Heaven;  and  the  parson  likes  this  very  well. — Light  is  a  great 
blessing,  and  as  great  as  food,  for  which  we  give  thanks  :  and  those  that  think  this  superstitious, 
neither  know  superstition  nor  themselves."  This  appears  to  be  at  this  time  totally  forgotten. 

c  Durand.  &c.  -v 

•   '!:. '  ''"•"  "i'JV>    i'.-;'>'i  >,llj»tl  illfilLi    •      •..•     •;..•  •• 

d  The  Festyvall  adds,  "  A  Candell  is  made  of  weke  and  wexe;  so  was  Ciystes  soule  hyd  within 
the  manhode :  also  the  fyre  betokeneth  the  Godhede  :  also  it  betokeneth  our  Ladyes  moderhed* 
and  maydenhede,  lyght  with  the  fyre  of  love."  ! ! ! 


JD  CJTN0LEMASS 

It  was  antiehtly  a  custom  for  women  in  England  to  bear  lights  when  they 
were  churched,  as  appears  from  the  following  royal  bon  mot.  William  the 
'Conqueror,  by  reason  of  sickness,  kept  his  chamber  a  long  time,  whereat  the 
French  King,  scoffing,  said,  "  The  King  of  England  lyeth  long  in  child-bed  :" 
which  when  it  was  reported  unto  King  William.,  he  answered,  "  When  I  am 
churched,  there  shall  be  a  thousand  lights  in  France;"  (alluding  to  the  lights 
-that  women  used  to  bear  when  they  were  churched :)  and  that  he  performed 
within  a  few  daies  after,  wasting  the  French  territories  with  fire  and  sword e. 

In  some  of  the  antient  illuminated  Calendars  a  woman  holding  a  taper  in. 
each  hand  is  represented  in  the  month  of  February f. 

N _______ . 

~"     >  ^ 

In  Dunstan's  Concord  of  Monastic  Rules  it  is  directed,  that,  "  on  the  Purification  of  the  Virgin 
Mary  the  Monks  shall  go  in  surplices  to  the  Church  for  Candles,  which  shall  be  consecrated, 
sprinkled  u-ith  holy  water,  and  censed  by  the  Abbot.  —  Let  every  Monk  take  a  Caudle  from  the 
Sacrist,  and  light  it.  Let  a  Procession  be  made,  Thirds  and  Mass  be  celebrated,  and  the  Candles, 
after  the  offering,  be  offered  to  the  Priest."  See  Fosbrooke'.s  British  Monachism,  vol.  i.  p.  28. 
A  note  adds :  Candlemas  Day.  The  Candles  at  the  Purification  were  an  exchange  for  the  lustra- 
tion of  the  Pagans,  and  Candles  were  used  "  from  the  parable  of  the  wise  virgins."  Alcuinus 
de  .divinis  Officiis,  p.  23 1 . 

«  Camden's  Remains,  edit.  Svo.  Loud.  1674,  p.  318.  In  a  most  rare  book  intitled  "The 
Burnynge  of  Paules  Church  in  London,  1561,  and  the  4  day  of  June  by  Lyghtnynge,"  &c. 
Svo.  Lond.  1563.  signat.  I.  4  b.  we  read,  "  In  Flaundcrs  everye  Saturdaye  betwixt  Christmas 
and  Candehnas  they  cate  flesh  for  joy,  and  have  pardon  for  it,  because  our  Ladye  laye  so 
long  in  child-bedde  say  they.  We  here  may  not  eat  so :  the  Pope  is  not  so  good  to  us ;  yet 
surely  it  were  as  good  reason  that  we  should  eat  fleshe  with  them  all  that  while  that  our  Lady  lay 
in  child-bed,  as  that  we  shuld  bear  our  Candel  at  her  Churchinge  at  Candlemas  with  theym  as  they 
doe.  It  is  seldome  sene  that  men  offer  Candels  at  women's  Churchinges,  savinge  at  our  Ladies  : 
but  reason  it  is  that  she  have  some  preferment,  if  the  Pope  would  be  so  good  maister  to  us  as 
to  let  us  eat  fleshe  with  theym." 

In  Mr.  Lysons's  Environs  of  London,  vol.  i.  p.  31O,  among  his  curious  Extracts  from  the 
Churchwardens'  Accounts  at  Lambeth,  I  find  the  following : 

"  1519.     Paid  for  Smoke  Money  at  Seynt  Mary  Eves,  0.  2.  6." 
This  occurs  again  in  1521.  "  Paid  by  my  Lord  of  Winchester's  Scribe  for  Smoke  Money,  0.  2.  6." 

f  Hospinian's  account  of  the  ceremonies  of  this  day  is  as  follows : 

"  Ceremoniae  autem  hujus  Festi,  quae  in  locum  llituum  ab  Ethnicis  observatorum  successerunt, 
.bae  sunt.  Primum  quae  allatae  ab  unoquoqwe  in  Templum  Candel*  vel  Cei«i  et  Faces  in  missa 
ienedicuntur  et  consecrantur :  deinde  distribuuntur,  tertioj  lit  processio,  in  qua  plebs  universe 
portans  cereos  ardentes  in  manibus  per  Ecclesias  procedjt."  De  Orig.  Fest.  Christ,  fpl.  41. 


CANDLEMASS    DAT.  41 

In  the  "  Doctrine  of  the  Masse  Booke,"  &c.  from  Wyttonburge  by  Nicholas 
Dorcaster,  1554,  8vo.  signat.  A.  8,  we  find 

vafiou-     ,  .w  tjrfiuartr  /nHti^'je-id  (W«(»,tiJ  jV/;>  :8^«->; 

"  THE    HALOW1NG   OF   CANDLES   UPON    CANDELMAS    DAY." 

The  Prayer.  "  O  Lord  Jesu  Christ,  ^  blesse  thou  this  creature  of  a  waxen 
taper  at  our  humble  supplication,  and,  by  the  vertue  of  the  holy  crosse,  poure 
thou  into  it  an  heavenly  benediction;  that  as  thou  hast  graunted  it  unto  man's 
use  for  the  expelling  of  darknes,  it  may  receave  such  a  strength  and  blessing, 
thorow  the  token  of  thy  holy  crosse,  that  in  what  places  soever  it  be  lighted 
or  set,  the  Divel  may  avoid  out  of  those  habitations,  and  tremble  for  feare, 

"  Porro  his  sic  consecratis  Candelis  non  minorem  vim  tribuunt,  quam  olim  Ethnici  suis  Cereis 
et  Facibus :  nam  iis  <&E?ixaxw  et  amuleto  utuntur.  De  quo  sic  Naogeorgus  canit  libro  4.  Regni 

Papistic! : 

"  Mira  est  Candelis  illis  et  magna  potestas : 

Nam  Tempestates  creduntur  tollere  diras 
Aecensae,  simul  et  sedare  Tonitrua  Cceli, 
Dsemonas  atque  malos  arcere,  horrendaque  fcoctis 
Spectra,  atque  infaustw  mala  Grandinis  atque  Pruinae, 
Quam  facile  hi  possunt  omnes  sedare  tumultus 
Et  Coeli  et  Terras,  Pelagique,  ut  credere  Christo 
Nil  sit  opus ;   veroque  Deo  committere  cuncta." 

Hospin.  de  Orig.  Fest.  Christian,  fol.  42  b. 

The  following  is  Barnabe  Googe's  Translation  of  Naogeorgus,  in  the  Popish  King-dome : 
"  Then  comes  the  Day  wherein  the  Virgin  offred  Christ  unto 
The  Father  chiefe,  as  Moyses  law  commaunded  hir  to  do. 
Then  numbers  great  of  Tapers  large,  both  men  and  women  beare 
To  Church,  being  halowed  there  with  pomp,  and  dreadful  words  to  heare. 
This  done,  eche  man  his  Candell  lightes  where  chiefest  seemeth  hee, 
Whose  Taper  greatest  may  be  seene,  and  fortunate  to  bee  ; 
Whose  Candell  burneth  cleare  and  bright,  a  wondrous  force  and  might 
Doth  in  these  Candels  lie,  which  if  at  any  time  they  light, 
They  sure  beleve  that  iieyther  storme  or  tempest  dare  abide, 
Nor  thunder  in  the  skies  be  heard,  nor  any  Devil's  spidc, 

Nor  fearefull  sprites  that  walke  by  night,   nor  hurts  of  frost  or  haile."     fol.  4*  b. 
We  read  in  Wodde's  "  Dialogue,"  cited  more  particularly  under  Palm  Sunday,  signat.  d.  1, 
"  Wherefore  serveth  holye  Candels  ?     (Nicholas.)    To  light  tip  in,  thunder,  and  to  Hesse  men  when 
they  lye  a  dying." 

See  on  this  subject  Dupre's  "  Conformity  between  antient  and  modern  Ceremonies,"  p.  96,  and 
Stopford's  "  Pagano-Papismus,"  p.  238. 

VOL.    I.  O 


42  CANDLEMASS    DAY. 

andjly  away  discouraged,  and  presume  no  more  to  unquiets  them  that  serve 
thee,  who  ivith  God"  &c.  There  follow  other  prayers,  in  which  occur  these 
passages  :  "  We  humbly  beseech  thee,  that  thou  wilt  vouchsafe  to  ^  blesse  and 
sanctifie  these  Candels,  prepared  unto  the  uses  of  men,  and  health  of  bodies 
and  smiles,  as  wel  on  the  land  as  in  the  waters."  "  Vouchsafe  *fc  to  blesse 
and  ^  sanctifye,  and  with  the  Candle  of  heavenly  benediction,  to  lighten  these 
tapers;  which  we  thy  servants  taking  in  the  honour  of  thy  name  (whan  they 
ar  lighted)  desire  to  beare,"  £c.  "  Here  let  the  Candles  be  sprinkled  with 
holy  water."  Concluding  with  this  rubrick :  "  When  the  halowyng  of  the 
Candels  is  done,  let  the  Candels  be  lighted  and  distributed." 

In  Bishop  Bonner's  Injunctions,  A.  D.  1555,  printed  that  year  by  John 
Cawood,  4to.  signal.  A.  i.  we  read,  "  that  bearyng  of  Candels  on  Candel- 
masse  Daie  is  doone  in  the  memorie  of  our  Saviour  Jesu  Christe,  the  spirituall 
lyght,  of  whom  Sainct  Symeon  dyd  prophecie,  as  it  is  redde  in  the  Church 
that  day."  This  ceremony,  however,  had  been  previously  forbidden  in  the 
metropolis:  for  in  Stowe's  Chronicle,  edited  by  Howes,  edit.  fol.  1631,  p.  595, 
we  read,  "  On  the  second  of  February  1547-8,  being  the  Feast  of  the  Puri- 
fication of  our  Lady,  commonly  called  Candlemasse  Day,  the  bearing  of  Can- 
dles in  the  Church  was  left  off  throughout  the  whole  citie  of  London." 

At  the  end  of  a  curious  Sermon,  intitled  "  The  Vanitie  and  Downefall  of 
superstitious  Popish  Ceremonies,  preached  in  the  Cathedral  Church  of  Dur- 
ham by  one  Peter  Smart,  a  Prebend  there,  July  £7,  1628,"  printed  at  Edin- 
borough,  4to.  1628,  I  find,  in  "  a  briefe  but  true  historicall  Narration  of  some 
notorious  Acts  and  Speeches  of  Mr.  John  Cosens''  (Bishop  of  Durham),  the 
following:  "  Fourthly,  on  Candlemass  Day  last  past,  Mr.  Cozens  in  renuing 
that  Popish  ceremonie  of  burning  Candles  s  to  the  honour  of  our  Ladye,  busied 
himself  from  two  of  the  clocke  in  the  afternoone  till  foure,  in  climbing  long 
ladders  to  stick  up  wax  candles  in  the  said  Cathedral  Church:  the  number  of 
all  the  Candles  burnt  that  evening  was  two  hundred  and  twenty,  besides  sixteen 
torches  :  sixty  of  those  burning  tapers  and  torches  standing  upon  and  near  the 
high  Altar  (as  he  calls  it,)  where  no  man  came  nigh." 

*  In  Mr.  Nichols's  Churchwardens' Accompts,  4to.  Lond.  1797,  p.  27O,  in  those  of  St.  Martin 
Outwich,  London,  under  the  year  1510,  is  the  following  article : 

"  Paid  to  Randolf  Merchaunt,  wex-chandUer,  for  the  Pascall,  the  Tapers  affore  the  Rode,  the 
Cross  Candelles,  and  Judas  Candellet,  ix«.  iiijd."  Quaere,  Judo*  Candelks  ? 


CANDLtMASS    DAY.  43 

"  There  is  a  canon,"  says  Bourne h,  in  the  Council  of  Trullus,  against  those 
who  baked  a  cake  in  honour  of  the  Virgin's  lying-in,  in  which  it  is  decreed, 
that  no  such  ceremony  should  be  observed,  because  she  suffered  no  pollution, 
and  therefore  needed  no  purification '." 

At  Rippon  in  Yorkshire,  the  Sunday  before  Candlemass  Day,  the  collegiate 
Church,  a  fine  antient  building,  is  one  continued  blaze  of  light  all  the  after- 
noon by  an  immense  number  of  candles  k. 

The  following  is  from  Herrick's  Hesperides,  p.  337 : 

«  CEREMONIES   FOR  CANDLEMAS  EVE, 

"  Down  with  the  Rosemary  and  Bayes, 

Down  with  the  Misleto ; 
Instead  of  Holly,    now  up-raise 

The  greener  Box   (for  show.) 

The  Holly  hitherto  did  sway ; 

Let  Box  now  domineere 
Until  the  dancing  Easter  Day, 

Or  Easter's  Eve  appeare. 

Then  youthful  Box,  which  now  hath  grace 

Your  houses  to  renew, 
Grown  old,  surrender  must  his  place 

Unto  the  crisped  Yew. 

h  Antiq.  Vulgares,  chap.  xvii.  Can.  80,  Trul.  Bal. 

'  The  purple  flowered  Lady's  Thistle,  the  leaves  of  which  are  beautifully  diversified  with  nume- 
rous white  spots,  like  drops  of  milk,  is  vulgarly  thought  to  have  been  originally  marked  by  the 
felling  of  some  drops  of  the  Virgin  Mary's  milk  on  it,  whence,  no  doubt,  its  name  Lady's,  i.  e.  Our 
Lady's  Thistle.  An  ingenious  little  invention  of  the  dark  Ages,  and  which,  no  doubt,  has  been 
of  service  to  the  cause  of  Superstition. 

Marry,  a  term  of  asseveration  in  common  use,  was  originally  in  Popish  times  a  mode  of  swear- 
ing by  the  Virgin  Mary;  q.  d.  by  Mary.  —  So  also  Marrow-bones,  for  the  knees.  I'll  bring  him 
down  upon  his  Marrow-bones;  i.  e.  I'll  make  him  bend  his  knees  as  he  does  to  the  Virgin  Mary. 

"  Gent.  Mag.  Aug.  1790,  p.  7\9. 


44  CAfcDLEMASS   CAY. 

When  Yew  is  out,    then  Birch  comes  in, 

And  many  flowers  beside; 
Both  of  a  fresh  and  fragrant  kinne 

To  honour  Whitsontide. 

Green  Rushes  then,  and  sweetest  Bents, 

With  cooler  Oaken  boughs, 
Come  in  for  comely  ornaments, 

To  re-adorn  the  house. 

Thus  times  do  shift;    each  thing  his  turne  do's  hold; 
New  things  succeed,  as  former  things  grow  old." 

So  again,  p.  361  : 

"  Down  with  the  Rosemary,  and  so 
Down  with  the  Bales  and  A/isletoe: 
Down  with  the  Holly,  Ivie,  all 
Wherewith  ye  drest  the  Christmas  Hall : 
That  so   the  superstitious  find 
No  one  least  branch  there  left  behind: 
For  look  how  many  leaves  there  be 
Neglected  there,   (Maids,  trust  to  me) 
So  many  Goblins  you  shall  see." 

The  subsequent  "  Ceremonies  for  Candlemasse  Day"  are  also  mentioned 

in  p.  337. 

"  Kindle  the  Christmas  brand,  and  then 

Till  sunne-set  let  it  burne  ; 
Which  quencht,  then  lay  it  up  agen, 
Til  Christmas  next  veturne. 

Part  must  be  kept  wherewith  to  teend 

The   Christmas  Log  next  yeare ; 
And  where  'tis  safely  kept,  the  Fiend 

Can  do-no  mischiefe   (there)." 

Also  in  p.  338  : 

"  End  now  the  White  Loafe  and  the  Pye, 
And  let  all  sports  with  Christmas  dye." 


CANDLfiMASS    DAY.  45 

t;>*f-  There  is  a  general  tradition,"  says  Sir  Thomas  Browne,  "  in  most  parts  of 
Europe,  that  inferreth  the  coldnesse  of  succeeding  winter  from  the  shining  of 
the  sun  on  Candlemas  Day,  according  to  the  proverbiall  distich  : ' 

<k  Si  Sol  splendescat  Maria  purificante, 

Major  «rit  glacies  post  festum  quam  fuit  ante1." 

:!  no  *  '•'.#  UP  '  '.'I   lo  iJ'idj    •!;;;.•:  -  >  r^j'?!):. 

In  the  Country  Almanack  for  J676,  under  February,  we  read, 

f  rin    ;  J   ..'.-i-i: 

"  Foul  weather  is  no  news ;   hail,  rain,  and  snow 
Are  now  expected,  and  esteem' d  no  woe ; 

Nay,  'tis  an  omen  bad  the  yeomen  say, 

,.  „,     ,  ,  .     .  -  ,    i  •",; 

It  Phoebus  shews  his  face  the  second  day. 

'HI   c:j  .:;  ?  •  •       • 

Martin,  in  his  Description  of  the  Western  Islands,  8vo.  Lond.  1716',  p.  119,  men- 
tions an  antient  custom  observed  on  the  second  of  February  :  ".The  mistress  and 
servants  of  each  family  take  a  sheaf  of  oats  and  dress  it  up  in  women's  apparel, 
put  it  in  a  large  basket,  and  lay  a  wooden  club  by  it,  and  this  they  call  Briid's 
Bed ;  and  then  the  mistress  and  servants  cry  three  times,  Briid  is  come,  Briid 
is  welcome.  This  they  do  just  before  going  to  bed,  and  when  they  rise  in  the 
morning  they  look  among  the  ashes,  expecting  to  see  the  impression  of  Briid's 
club  there ;  which  if  they  do,  they  reckon  it  a  true  presage  of  a  good  crop  and 
prosperous  year,  and  the  contrary  they  take  as  an  ill  omen  m." 


ST.  BLAZE'S  DAY', 

(February  %.) 
.Ttvt  .Kwlisiiri"  >  .i-.-l   ,'hO  -'b  n».ia.  j 


M1NSHEW,  in  his  Dictionary,  under  the  word  Hocke-tide,  speaks  of  "  St. 
Blaze  his  Day,  about  Candlemass,  when  country  women  goe  about  and  make 

.  .,->     ).    we  ':• 

1  Vulgar  Eirors,  edit.  fol.  Lond.  1646,  p.  289. 

m  Ray,  in  his  Collection  of  Proverbs,  has  preserved  two  relating  to  this  Day.  "  On  Candlemass 
Day,  throw  Candle  and  Candlestick  away  :"  and  "  Sow  or  set  Beans  in  Candlemass  Waddle." 
Somerset.  In  Somersetshire,  Waddle  means  Wane  of  the  Moon. 

*  "  Blasius  Episcopus  fuit  Sebastise  Cappadocum.  In  persecutione  autem  sub  Diocletiano  et 
Maximiano  stationem  suam  deserens  in  speluncam  Argei  montis  auffugit,  ibique  eremiticam  vitam 


46  ST.  BLAZE'S  DAY. 

good  cheere,  and  if  they  find  any  of  their  neighbour  women  a  spinning  that 
day,  they  burne  and  make  a  blaze  of  fire  of  the  distaffe,  and  thereof  called 

S.  Blaze  his  Day b. 

Dr.  Percy,  in  his  notes  to  the  Northumberland  Household  Book,  p.  333, 
tells  us,  "  The  anniversary  of  St.  Blasius  is  the  3d  pf  February,  when  it  is  still 
the  custom  in  many  parts  of  England  to  light  up  fires  on  the  hills  on  St.  Blayse 
night:  a  custom  antiently  taken  up,  perhaps  for  no  better  reason  than  the 
jingling  resemblance  of  his  name  to  the  word  Blaze c." 

Reginald  Scot,  in  his  Discovery  of  Witchcraft,  edit.  fol.  Lond.  1665,  p.  137, 
gives  us  a  Charm  used  in  the  Romish  church  upon  St.  Blaze's  Day,  that  will  fetch 
a  thorn  out  of  any  place  of  one's  body,  a  bone  out  of  the  throat,  &c.  to  wit, 
"  Call  upon  God,  and  remember  St.  Blaze." 

The  following  is  the  account  of  "  Blaze"  in  the  Popish  Kingdome,  fol.  47  b. 
"  Then  followeth  good  Sir  Blaze,  who  doth  a  waxen  Candell  give, 
And  holy  water  to  his  men,  whereby  they  safely  live. 
1  divers  barrels  oft  have  scene,  drawne  out  of  water  cleare, 
Through  one  small  blessed  bone  of  this  same  Martyr  heare  : 
And  caryed  thence  to  other  townes  and  cities  farre  away, 
Ech  superstition  doth  require  such  earnest  kinde  of  play." 

egit,  et  hominum  pecorumque  morbos  varies  sanavit.  In<le  vero  ab  Agricolai  prsesidis  militibus 
extractus  in  carcerem  conjicitur.  Sequent!  die  quum  Jovi  sacrificare  nollet  jussu  praesidis  fustibus 
caeditur,  et  mrsus  in  carcerem  detruditur.  Post  aliquot  dies  iterum  educitur  hide,  et  ob  eandem 
causam  in  ligno  suspenditur,  unguibusque  ac  pectinibus  ferreis  laniatur :  tandem  decollatur 
3  Non.  Febr.  Unde  Mantuanus  in  Februario  : 

"  Tertia  Cappadocum  pastor  sanctissime  Blasi 

Lux  tua." 

Hospinian  de  Orig.  Fest.  Christian,  fol.  43. 

b  P.  236.  Tbis  has  been  adopted  by  Dr.  Plott,  in  his  History  of  Oxfordshire,  edit.Oxf.  1677,  p.  202. 

c  I  find  the  following  in  Du  Cange's  Glossary,  in  voce  "  Festum  S.  Blasii."  "  Cur  hac  die 
Populus  lumina  pro  domibus  vel  animalibus  accendere  soleret,  atque  adeo  ejeemosynas  largiri 
docet  Honorius  Augustod.  Lib.  iii.  cap.  25." 

Hospinian,  in  his  book  De  Orig.  Festor.  Christian,  fol.  43,  speaking  of  St.  Blasius'  Day,  says : 
"  In  sacris  ejus  Candela  offertur :  Nugantur  enim,  viduam  quandam  porci  maetati  caput,  pedes, 
candelam  et  panem  Blasio  in  carcerem  attulisse."  These  candles  were  said  to  be  good  for  the 
tooth-ache,  and  for  diseased  cattle. 


47 


VALENTINE'S  DAY* 

rfjuj£  Ofil  lo  r  >r»erfi:6tfJ  ni  i:'MK>m<{.  )'»</q£  t  <-.j;w  eJiuui 

(February  14.) 

IT  is  a  ceremony,  says  Bourne,  never  omitted  among  the  vulgar,  tq  draw 
lots,  which  they  term  Valentines,  on  the  eve  before  Valentine  Day.  The  names 
of  a  select  number  of  one  sex  are,  by  an  equal  number  of  the  other,  put  into 
some  vessel  ;  and  after  that,  every  one  draws  a  name,  which  for  the  present  is 
called  their  Valentine,  and  is  look'd  upon  as  a  good  omen  of  their  being  man 
and  wife  afterwards. 

He  adds,  there  is  a  rural  tradition,  that  on  this  day  every  bird  chuses  its 
mateb,  and  concludes  that  perhaps  the  youthful  part  of  the  world  hath  first 
practised  this  custom,  so  common  at  this  season  c. 

I  once  thought  this  custom  might  have  been  the  remains  of  an  antient  super- 
stition in  the  Church  of  Rome  on  this  day,  of  chusing  patrons  for  the  ensuing 

a  Valentine,  a  presbyter  of  the  Church,  was  beheaded  under  Claudius  the  Emperor. 

*  This  idea  is  thus  expressed  by  old  Chaucer,  the  father  of  English  verse  : 
"  Nature,  the  Vicare  of  the  Almightie  Lord, 
That  hote,  colde,  hevie,  light,  moist,  and  drie, 
Hath  knit  by  even  number  of  accord 
In  easie  voice,  began  to  speak  and  say, 
Foules,  take  hede  of  my  sentence  I  pray, 
And  for  your  own  ease  in  fordring  of  your  need, 
As  fast  as  I  may  speak  I  will  me  speed. 
Ye  know  well,  how  on  St.  Valentine's  Day, 

By  my  statute  and  through  my  governaunce, 
Ye  doe  chese  your  Makes,  and  after  flie  away 

With  hem  as  1  pricke  you  with  pleasaunce." 

Shakspeare,  in  his  Midsummer  Night's  Dream,  alludes  to  the  old  saying,  that  birds  begin  to 
couple  on  St.  Valentine's  Day  : 

-  "  Saint  Valentine  is  past; 
Begin  these  wood-birds  but  to  couple  now?" 

Reed's  edit,  of  Shakspeare,  vol.  iv.  p.  453. 
c  Antiquitates  Vulgares,  chap.  xx. 


48  VALENTINE'S  DAY. 

year :  and  that,  because  ghosts  d  were  thought  to  walk  on  the  night  of  this  Day, 
or  about  this  time,  and  that  Gallantry  had  taken  it  up  when  Superstition  at  the 
Reformation  had  been  compelled  to  let  it  fall. 

Since  that  time  I  have  found  unquestionable  authority  to  evince  that  the 
custom  of  chusing  Valentines  was  a  sport  practised  in  the  houses  of  the  gentry 
in  England  as  early  as  the  year  1476 e. 

<•  I  find  in  the  eld  Romish  Calendar  already  cited,  the  following  observation  on  the  14th  of 

February : 

"  Manes  nocte  vagari  creduntur. 

e  See  a  Letter  dated  February  1476,  in  Fenn's  Paston  Letters,  voL  ii.  p.  21 1.  Of  this  custom 
John  Lydgate,  the  Monk  of  Bury,  makes  mention,  as  follows,  in  a  Poem  written  by  him  in  praise 
of  Queen  Catherine,  consort  to  Henry  V. 

"  Seynte  Valentine,  of  custome  yeere  by  yeere 

Men  have  an  usaunce  in  this  regioun 
To  loke  and  serche  Cupides  Kalendere, 

And  chose  theyr  choyse,  by  grete  affecciounj 
Such  as  ben  prike  with  Cupides  mocioun, 
Takyng  theyre  choyse  as  theyr  sort  doth  falle : 
But  I  love  oon  whiche  excellith  alle." 

MS.  Harl.  2251.     See  Strutt's  Manners  and  Customs,  vol.  iii.  p.  179. 

In  the  Catalogue  of  the  Poetical  Devises,  &c.  done  by  the  same  Poet,  in  print  and  MS.  preserved 
at  the  end  of  Speght's  edition  of  Chaucer's  Works,  fol.  Lond.  1602,  fol.  376  b.  occurs  one  with 
the  title  of"  Chusing  Loves  on  S.  Valentine's.  Day."  "  Lydgate,"  says  Warton  (Hist.  Engl.  Poet, 
vol.  ii.  p.  53),  "  was  not  only  the  Poet  of  his  Monastery,  but  of  the  World  in  general.  If  a 
Disguising  was  intended  by  the  Company  of  Goldsmiths,  a  Mask  before  his' Majesty  at  Eltham,  a 
May-game  for  the  Sheriffs  and  Aldermen  of  London,  a  Mumming  before  the  Lord  Mayor,  a  Pro- 
cession of  Pageants  from  the  Creation  for  the  Festival  of  Corpus  Christi,  or  a  Carol  for  the  Coro- 
nation, Lydgate  was  consulted,  and  gave  the  Poetry."  The  above  Catalogue  mentions  also,  by 
Lydgate,  "  a  Disguising  before  the  Mayor  of  London  by  the  Mercers ;  a  Disguising  before  the 
King  in  the  Castle  of  Hartford  ;  a  Mumming  before  the  King  at  Eltham ;  a  Miimming  before  the 
King  at  Windsore;  and  a  Ballade  given  to  Henry  VI.  and  his  mother  on  New  Yeare's  Day,  at 
Hartford." 

Warton,  in  his  emendations  and  additions  to  vol.  ii.  p.  31,  of  his  History  of  English  Poetry, 
has  given  a  curious  French  Valentine  composed  by  Gower.  See  a  curious,  but  by  no  means 
satisfactory  Note  upon  this  subject  by  Monsieur  Duchat,  in  the  quarto  edition  of  Rabelais, 
torn.  i.  p.  393. 

There  is  an  account  of  the  manner  in  which  St.  Valentine's  Day.  was  antiently  observed  in 
France,  in  Goujet  Bibliothcque  Francoise,  torn,  ix,  p.  266,  together  with  some  Poems  composed 
by  Charles,  Duke  of  Orleans,  the  father  of  Louis  XII.  when  prisoner  in  England,  in  honour  of 
that  Festival." 


VALEKTINE'S  DAT.  $ 

Herrick  lias  the  following  in  his  Hesperides,  p.  172  : 

«  TO  HIS  VALENTINE,  ON  S.  VALENTINE'S  DAY. 

"  Oft  have  I  heard  both  Youth  and  Virgins  say, 
Birds  chuse  their  mates,  and  couple  too,  this  day : 
But  by  their  flight  I  never  can  divine, 
When  I  shall  couple  with  my  Valentine." 

In  Dudley  Lord  North's  Forest  of  Varieties,  fol.  1645,  p.  61,  in  a  Letter  to 
his  Brother,  he  says,  "A  Lady  of  wit  and  qualitie,  whom  you  well  knew,  would 
never  put  herself  to  the  chance  oj  a  Valentine,  saying  that  shee  would  never 
couple  herselfe,  but  by  choyce.  The  custome  and  charge  of  Valentines  is 
not  ill  left,  with  many  other  such  costly  and  idle  customer,  which  by  a  tacit 
generall  consent  wee  lay  downe  as  obsolete." 


The  following  is  one  of  the  most  elegant  Jew  d'esprits  on  this  occasion  that  I  have  met  with : 
"  TO  DORINDA,   ON  VALENTINE'S  DAY. 

"  Look  how,  my  dear,  the  feather'd  kind, 
By  mutual  caresses  joyn'd, 
Bill,  and  seem  to  teach  us  two, 
What  we  to  love  and  custom  owe. 

Shall  only  you  and  I  forbear 
To  meet  and  make  a  happy  pair? 
Shall  we  alone  delay  to  live  ? 
This  day  an  age  of  bliss  may  give. 

But  ah!    when  I  the  proffer  make, 
Still  coyly  you  refuse  to  takej 
My  heart  I  dedicate  in  vain, 
The  too  mean  present  you  disdain. 

Yet  since  the  solemn  time  allows 
To  choose  the  object  of  our  vows ; 
Boldly  I  dare  profess  my  flame, 
Proud  to  be  yours  by  any  name." 

Satyrs  of  Boileau  imitated,  wit'a  other  Poems.  Svo.  Lond.  1696,  p.  101. 

I 
VOL.  I.  H 


50  VALENTINE'S  DAY. 

In  "  Carolina,  or  Loyal  Poems,  by  Thomas  Shipman,  esq."  p.  135,  is 'a  copy 
of  verses  entitled  "  The  Rescue,  1673.  To  Mrs.  D.  C.  whose  name  being  left 
after  drawing  Valentines  and  cast  into  the  fire,  was  snatcht  out. 

"I,  like  the  Angel,  did  aspire 

Your  Name  to  rescue  from  the  fire. 

My  zeal  succeeded  for  your  name, 

But  I,  alas!   caught  all  the  flame! 

A  meaner  offering  thus  sufEc'd, 

And  Isaac  was  not  sacrific'df." 

I  have  searched  the  Legend  of  St.  Valentine,  but  think  there  is  no  occurrence 
in  his  life  that  could  have  given  rise  to  this  ceremony  %. 

The  learned  Moresin  tells  us,  that  at  this  Festival  the  men  used  to  make  the 
women  presents,  as,  upon  another  occasion,  the  women  used  to  do  to  the  men: 
but  that  presents  were  made  reciprocally  on  this  day  in  Scotland  h. 

f  In  the  British  Apollo,  fol.  Lond.  1708,  vol.  i.  No.  3,  we  read, 
"  Why  Valentine's  a  day  to  choose 
A  mistress,  and  our  freedom  loose  ? 
May  I  my  reason  interpose, 
The  question  with  an  answer  close, 
To  imitate  we  have  a  mind, 
And  couple  like  the  winged  kind." 
In  the  same  work,  vol.  ii.  No.  2,  fol.  Lond.  1709  : 

Question.  "  In  chusing  Valentines  (according  to  custom)  is  not  the  party  chusing  (be  it  man 
or  woman)  to  make  a  present  to  the  party  chosen  ? 

Answer.  We  think  it  more  proper  to  say,  drawing  of  Valentines,  since  the  most  customary 
way  is  for  each  to  take  his  or  her  lot.  And  Chance  cannot  be  termed  Choice.  According  to  this 
method,  the  obligations  are  equal,  and  therefore  it  was  formerly  the  custom  mutually  to  present, 
but  now  it  is  customary  only  for  the  Gentlemen." 

f  Wheatley,  in  his  Illustration  of  the  Common  Prayer,  Svo.  Lond.  1741.  p.  61,  tells  us  that  St. 
Valentine  "  was  a  man  of  most  admirable  parts,  and  so  famous  for  his  love  and  charity,  that  the 
custom  of  choosing  Valentines  upon  his  Festival  (which  is  still  practised)  took  its  rise  from 
thence."  I  know  not  how  my  Reader  will  be  satisfied  with  this  learned  writer's  explication.  He 
has  given  us  no  pramses,  in  my  opinion,  from  which  we  can  draw  any  such  conclusion.  Were 
not  all  the  Saints  supposed  to  be  famous  for  their  love  and  charity  ?  Surely  he  does  not  mean 
that  we  should  understand  the  word  Love  here  as  implying  Gallantry. 

h  "  Et  vere  ad  Valentin!  Festum  a  viris  habent  fceminae  munera,  et  alio  tempore  viris  dantur. 
ID  Scotia  autem  ad  Valentini  reciprocae  fufere  dationes."  Moresini  Papatus,  p.  160. 


VALENTINE'S  DAT.  M 

Gay  has  left  us  a  poetical  description  of  some  rural  ceremonies  used  on  the 
morning  of  this  day : 

"  Last  Valentine,  the  day  when  birds  of  kind 
Their  paramours  with  mutual  chirpings  find, 
I  early  rose,  just  at  the  break  of  day, 
Before  the  sun  had  chas'd  the  stars  away: 
A-field  I  went,  amid  the  morning  dew, 
To  milk  my  kine  (for  so  should  house-wives  do), 
Thee  first  I  spied,  and  the  first  swain  we  see, 
In  spite  of  Fortune,  shall  our  true  love  be1." 

Mr.  Pennant,  in  his  Tour  in  Scotland,  tells  us,  that  in  February  young  persons  draw  Valentines, 
and  from  thence  collect  their  future  fortune  in  the  nuptial  stute. 

Dr.  Goldsmith,  in  his  Vicar  of  Wakefield,  describing  the  manners  of  some  rustics,  tells  us, 
they  sent  True-love  Knots  on  Valentine  morning. 
The  following  is  from  Buchanan  : 

"  Festa  Valentino  rediit  Lux  • 

Quisque  sibi  Sociam  jam  legit  ales  Avem. 
Inde  sibi  Dominam  per  sortes  queerere  in  Annum 

Mansit  ab  antiquis  mors  repetitus  avis: 
Quisque  legit  Dominam,  quam  casto  observet  amore, 

Quam  nitidis  sertis,  obsequioque  colat: 
Mittere  cui  possit  blandi  Munuscula  Veris." 

Pocmata.  edit.  12mo.  Lugd.  Bat.  1623.  p.  362. 

Lewis  Owen,  in  his  work  entitled  "  The  Unmasking  of  all  Popish  Monks,  Friers,  and  Jesuits,"  4to. 
Lond.  1628,  p.  97,  speaking  of  its  being  "  now  among  the  Papists  as  it  was  heretofore  among 
the  heathen  people,"  says  that  the  former  "  have  as  many  saints,  which  they  honour  as  gods,  and 
every  one  have  their  several  charge  assigned  unto  them  by  God,  for  the  succour  of  men,  women, 
and  children,  yea  over  Countries,  Common-wealths,  Cities,  Provinces,  and  Churches;  nay,  to 
help  Oveset  Doves  et  ccetera  pecora  Campi:"  and  instances,  among  many  others,  "  S.  Valentine,  for 
Lovers." 

*  Grose  explains  Valentine  to  mean  the  first  woman  seen  by  a  man,  or  man  seen  by  a  woman, 
on  St.  Valentine's  Day,  the  14th  of  February. 

From  the  following  lines  in  Bishop  Hall's  Satires,  I  should  guess  that  Valentine  has  been  parti- 
cularly famous  for  Chastity. 

"  Now  play  the  Satyre  whoso  list  for  me, 
Valentine  self,  or  some  as  chaste  as  hee." 

Virgidern.  book  iv.  sat.  1. 

From  Mr.  Douce's  manuscript  notes  I  learn,  that  Butler,  in  his  Lives  of  the  Saints,  says,  "  To 
abolish  the  heathens,  lewd,  superstitious  custom  of  Boys  drawing  the  names  of  Girls,  ia  honour  of 


52  VALENTINE'S  DAY. 

We  find  the  following  curious  species  of  divination  in  the  Connoisseur,  as 
practised  on  Valentine's  Day  or  Eve.  "  Last  Friday  was  Valentine  Day,  and 
the  night  before  I  got  five  bay-leaves,  and  pinned  four  of  them  to  the  four 
corners  of  my  pillow,  and  the  fifth  to  the  middle ;  and  then,  if  I  dreamt  of  my 
sweet-heart,  Betty  said  we  should  be  married  before  the  year  was  out k.  But 
to  make  it  more  sure,  I  boiled  an  egg  hard,  and  took  out  the  yolk,  and  filled 
it  with  salt ;  and  when  I  went  to  bed,  eat  it,  shell  and  all,  without  speaking  or 
drinking  after  it.  We  also  wrote  our  lovers'  names  upon  bits  of  paper,  and 
rolled  them  up  in  clay,  and  put  them  into  water :  and  the  first  that  rose  up  was 
to  be  our  Valentine.  Would  you  think  it,  Mr.  Blossom  was  my  man.  I  lay 
a-bed  and  shut  my  eyes  all  the  morning,  till  he  came  to  our  house;  for  I  would 
not  have  seen  another  man  before  him  for  all  the  world." 

Misson,  in  his  Travels  in  England,  p.  410,  has  the  following  Observations 
on  Valentines1. 

"  Valentin,  la  veille  du  14  Fevrier,  Jour  de  S.  Valentin,  et  temps  auquel 
toute  la  Nature  vivante  tend  a  1'accouplement,  les  jeunes  Gens  en  Angleterre  et 
en  Ecosse  aussi,  par  une  coutume  fort  ancienne,  celebrent  une  petite  Fete  qui 
vise  au  meme  but.  Nombre  egal  de  Garcons  et  de  Filles  se  trouvent  ensemble: 

their  goddess  Februata  Juno,  on  the  15th  of  February,  several  zealous  Pastors  substituted  the  names 
of  Saints  in  billets  given  on  that  day."  See  his  Account  of  St.  Valentine.  And  in  vol.  i.  Jan.  29, 
he  says,  that  "  St.  Frances  de  Sales  severely  forbad  the  custom  of  Valentines,  or  giving  Boys  in 
writing  the  names  of  Girls  to  be  admired  and  attended  on  by  them  ;  and  to  abolish  it,  he  changed 
it  into  giving  billets  with  the  names  of  certain  Saints,  for  them  to  honour  and  imitate  in  a  parti- 
cular manner."  But  quare  this  custom  among  the  Romans  above  referred  to. 

A  writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine,  1779,  p.  137,  mentions  a  sort  of  sport  used  in  Kent 
during  the  month  of  February,  where  the  Girls  were  burning  in  triumph  a  figure  which  they  had 
stolen  from  the  Boys,  called  a  Holly-Boy,  whilst  the  Boys  were  doing  the  same  with  another 
figure  called  an  Ivy-Girl. 

k  Herrick,  in  his  Hesperides,  p.  61,  speaking  of  a  Bride,  says, 
"  She  must  no  more  a-maying : 
Or  by  Rose-buds  divine 
Who'l  be  her  Valentine" 

1  Thus  translated  by  Ozell,  p.  330 :    "  On  the  Eve  of  the  14th  of  February,  St.  Valentine's 

Day,  a  time  when  all  living  Nature  inclines  to  couple,  the  young  folks  in  England  and  Scotland 

•  too,  by  a  very  antient  custom,  celebrate  a  little  Festival  that  tends  to  the  same  end.   An  equal 

number  of  Maids  and  Batchelors  get  together,  each  writes  their  true  or  some  feign'd  name  upon 


VALENTINE'S  DAY.  53 

chacun  et  chacune  ecrivent  leurs  vrais  noms  ou  des  noms  empruntez  sur  des 
billets  separez,  roulent  ces  billets  et  tirent  au  sort,  les  Filles  prenant  les  billets 
des  Galons,  et  les  Garcons  les  billets  des  Filles,  de  sorte  que  chaque  Gar9<m 
rencontre  une  Fille  qu'il  appelle  sa  Valentine ;  et  chaque  Fille  rencontre  un  Gar- 
con  qu'elle  appelle  son  Valentin.  De  cette  maniere,  chacun  a  double  Valentin  et 
double  Valentine :  mais  le  Valentin  s'attache  plus  a  la  Valentine  qui  lui  est 
echeiie,  qu'a  la  Valentine  a  la  quelle  il  est  echu.  Le  sort  ayant  ainsi  associe  le 
compagnie  en  divers  couples,  les  Valentins  donnent  Bals  et  Cadeaux,  portent 
pendant  plusieurs  jours  sur  le  coeur  ou  sur  la  manche  les  billets  de  leurs  Valen- 
tines, et  assez  souvent  1'amour  s'y  boute.  Cette  petite  cerenionie  se  pratique 
avec  diversite  dans  les  diverses  provinces,  et  selon  les  plus  ou  le  moins  de 
severite  des  Mesdames  les  Valentines.  On  tient  encore  pour  autre  sorte  de 
Valentin  ou  de  Valentine,  le  premier  Garcon  ou  la  premiere  Fille  que  le  hazard 
fait  rencontrer  dans  la  rue,  ou  ailleurs,  le  Jour  de  la  Fete." 


The  following  love  divinations  appear  to  have  been  practised  upon  the  Conti- 
nent in  Advent: 

"  Observatur  porro  hoc  tempore  alia  quoque  profana  et  impia  consuetude 
a  Christianis,  de  qua  Naogeorgus  eodem  loco  sic  etiain  canit : 

separate  billets,  which  they  roll  up,  and  draw  by  way  of  lots,  the  Maids  taking  the  Men's  billets, 
and  the  Men  the  Maids' ;  so  that  each  of  the  young  Men  lights  upon  a  Girl  that  he  calls  his 
Valentine,  and  each  of  the  Girls  upon  a  young  Man  which  she  calls  her's.  By  this  means  each 
has  two  Valentines  :  but  the  Man  sticks  faster  to  the  Valentine  that  is  fallen  to  him,  than  to  the 
Valentine  to  whom  he  is  fallen.  Fortune  having  thus  divided  the  company  into  so  many  couples, 
the  Valentines  give  balls  and  treats  to  their  mistresses,  wear  their  billets  several  days  upon  their 
bosoms  or  sleeves,  and  this  little  sport  often  ends  in  Love.  This  ceremony  is  practised  differently 
in  different  Counties,  and  according  to  the  freedom  or  severity  of  Madam  Valentine.  There  is 
another  kind  of  Valentine,  which  is  the  first  young  Man  or  Woman  that  chance  throws  in  your 
way  in  the  street,  or  elsewhere,  on  that  day." 

In  Poor  Robin's  Almanack  for  1 6~6,  that  facetious  observer  of  our  old  customs  tells  us,  oppo- 
site to  St.  Valentine's  Day  in  February, 

"  Now  Andrew,  Antho- 
ny, and  William, 

For  Valentines  dram 
Prue,  Kate,  Jilian." 


54  VALENTINES    DAY. 

"  Illis  divinant  etiam  inquiruntque  diebus 
Aptee  connubio  jam  lascivceque  puellae 
Nomine  desponsi,  quicunque  est  ille  futurus. 
Quatuor  accipiunt  Caepas,  vel  quinque,  vel  octo, 
Atque  induunt  certum  nomen,    prae  aliisque  cupitum 
Cuique  dein  propter  fornacem  ex  ordine  ponunt. 
Et  quae  prima  suum  protrudit  caepula  germen, 
Illius  hand  dubie  nomen  quoque  Sponsus  habebit. 
Inquirunt  etiam  sponsi  moresque  animumque, 
Sol  postquam   occiduus  coelum  terrasque  reliquit. 
Namque  struem  lignorum  adeunt  turn,  perque  tenebras 
Fortuito  inde  sudem  casu  quaique  extrahit  unam  : 
Q.USC  fuerit  si  recta,   et  nullis  horrida  nodis, 
Commodis  ac  comis   speratur  rite  maritus  : 
Sin  vero  prava  et   nodis  incommoda  duris, 
Improbulutn  ac  pravum  sperat  obtingere  sponsum. 
Ista  ferunt  et  alunt  scelerati  impune  papistae." 

See  also  Hospinian  de  Orig.  Festor.  Christian,  fol.  152.  Some  other  love 
divinations  seem  to  have  been  practised  there  on  St.  Andrew's  Day. 

"  De  Ritu  qui  in  Papatu  observatur  in  D.  Andreas  Festo  sic  Naogeorgus, 
libro  iv.  Regni  Papistic!  canit. 

"  Andraeae  amatores  vulgo   turbasque  procorum 
Dona  ferunt,    cred unique  illius  numine  dextro 
Prxstigiisque  aliis   tacita  sub   nocte  peractis, 
Spcai  reclam  fore,  seque  frui  re  posse  cupita." 

Ibid.    fol.  1.52.  b. 


COLLOP  OR  SHROVE  MONDAY. 


IN  the  North  of  England  the  Monday  preceding  Shrove  Tuesday,  or  Pan- 
cake Tuesday,  is  called  Collop  Monday  :  Eggs  and  Collops  compose  an  usual 
dish  at  dinner  on  this  day,  as  Pancakes  do  on  the  following,  from  which 
customs  they  have  plainly  derived  their  names. 


COLLOP   OR   SHROVE    MONDAY;  55 

It  should  seem  that  on  Collop a  Monday  they  took  their  leave  of  flesh b  in 
the  papal  times,  which  was  antiently  prepared  to  last  during  the  winter  by 
salting,  drying,  and  being  hung  up.  Slices  of  this  kind  of  meat  are  to  this  day 
termed  Collops  in  the  North,  whereas  they  are  called  Steaks  when  cut  off  from 
fresh  or  unsalted  flesh;  a  kind  of  food  which  I  am  inclined  to  think  our  ances- 
tors seldom  tasted  in  the  depth  of  winter. 

A  writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  asserts  that  most  places  in  England 
have  Eggs  and  Collops  (slices  of  bacon)  on  Shrove  Monday0. 

My  late  learned  friend,  the  Rev.  Mr.  Bowles,  informed  me  that  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Salisbury,  in  Wiltshire,  the  boys  go  about  before  Shrove-tide, 
singing  these  rhymes : 

"  Shrove  Tide  is  nigh  at  hand, 

And  I  am  come  a  shroving ; 

Pray,  Dame,  something, 

An  Apple  or  a  Dumpling, 

Or  a  piece  of  Truckle  Cheese 

Of  your  own  making, 

Or  a  piece  of  Pancake d." 

a  Collpp,  (S.  of  doubtful  etymology)  a  small  slice  of  meat,  a  piece  of  any  animal.  Ash.— 
Colab.  Colob.  Segmentum.  unde  Anglis  Colabs  $  Egges  dicuntur  Segmenta  lardi  ovis  instrata. 
KoX«£o;  Suidse  est  offula,  buccea  parvula,  a  x.t>\a£oia  decurto,  minuo.  Adi  quoque  Etym.  Voss.  in 
Collabi.  M.  Casaubon  de  Vet.  Ling.  Angl.  p.  279.  Lye.  Junii  Etymolog.  v.  Colab. 

Collop,  Minshew,  deflectit  a  xoAaTrL,  incido,  vel  a  Belg.  kole,  carbo,  et  op  super,  ut  idem  sit 
quod  Fr.  G.  Carbonade,  vel  a  Ko'Ww^,  corium  durius  in  cervicibus  et  dorsis  bouin,  aut  ovium,  vel 
a  KoXov,  eibus,  vel  a  Ko*a£o?,  quod  Vossio  in  Et.  L.L.  exp.  Buccea,  offula.  Skinner  in  verbo. 

Dr.  Kennett,  in  the  Glossary  to  his  Parochial  Antiquities,  (v.  Collerus.)  tells  us  of  an  old  Latin 
word  colponer,  slices,  or  cut  pieces  j  in  Welch,  a  Gollvvith. 

b  In  the  Ordinary  of  the  Butchers'  Company  at  Newcastle- upon-Tyne,  dated  1621,  I  find  the 
following  very  curious  clause:  "  Item,  that  noe  one  Brother  of  the  said  Fellowship  shall  hereafter 
buy  or  seeke  any  Licence  of  any  person  whatsoever  to  kill  Flesh  within  the  Tovvne  of  Newcastle 
in  the  Lent  season,  without  the  general  consent  of  the  Fellowship,  upon  payne  for  every  such 
deiaute  to  the  use  aforesaide,  ^5."  They. are  enjoined,  it  is  observable,  in  this  charter,  to 
hold  their  head  meeting-day  on  Ash- Wednesday.  They  have  since  altered  it  to  the  preceding 

*ir     i  i 

Wednesday. 

e  August  1790,  p.  719. 

d  Sir  Thomas  Overbury,  in  his  Characters,  speaking  of  a  "Franklin,"  says,  that  among  the 
Ceremonies  which  he  anmially  observes,  and  that  without  considering  them  as  reliques  of  Popery, 
are  "  Shrovings." 


56  COLLOP    OR    SHROVE    JIONDAT. 

At  Eton  school  it  was  the  custom,  on  Shrove  Monday,  for  the  Scholars  to 
write  verses  either  in  praise  or  dispraise  of  Father  Bacchus*:  poets  being  con- 
sidered as  immediately  under  his  protection.  He  was  therefore  sung  on  this 
occasion  in  all  kinds  of  metres,  and  the  verses  of  the  boys  of  the  seventh  and 
sixth,  and  of  some  of  the  fifth  forms,  were  affixed  to  the  inner  doors,  pf  the 
College. 

Verses  are  still  written  and  put  up  on  this  day,  but  I  believe  the  young  poets 
are  no  longer  confined  to  the  subject  of  writing  eulogiums  on  the  god  of  wine. 
It  still  however  retains  the  name  of  the  Bacchus. 


SHROVE-TIDE,   OR  SHROVE-TUESDAY;    CALLED  ALSO  PASTERN'S 
EVEN  and  PANCAKE  TUESDAY*. 

SHROVE-TIDE  plainly  signifies  the  time  of  confessing  sins,  as  the  Saxon 
word  Shrive,  or  Shrift,  means  Confession.  This  season  has  been  antiently  set 
apart  by  the  Church  of  Rome  for  a  time  of  shriving  or  confessing  sins  b.  This 
seemingly  no  bad  preparative  for  the  austerities  that  were  to  follow  in  Lent, 
was,  for  whatever  reason,  laid  aside  at  the  Reformation. 

The  luxury  and  intemperance  that  usually  prevailed  at  this  season  were 
vestiges  of  the  Romish  carnival c,  which  the  learned  Moresin  derives  from  the 
times  of  Gentilism,  introducing  Joannes  Boemus  Aubanus  as  describing  it 

e  Status  Scholse  Etoniensis,  A.  D.  1560.  MS.  Brit.  Mus.  Donat.  4843,  already  quoted.  "  In 
die  Limit!  Carnis-privii  ad  horam  nonam  luditur  et  conduntur  Cannina,  sive  in  laudem  sive  in 
vituperium  Bacchi  patris :  et  quia  Clientes  Bacchi  poetse  dicuntur,  in  cujus  tutela  omnes  sunt 
constituti,  omnium  Metrorum  omni  genere  Dionysium  canunt.  Carmina  condita  a  pueris  7mi  et 
6"  et  aliquot  5**  ordinis  affiguntur  Valvis  interioribus  Collegii."  fol.  423. 

a  In  the  Oxford  Almanacks,  the  Saturday  preceding  this  day  is  called  the  Egg-Feast.  Perhaps 
the  same  as  our  Collop  Monday.  See,  under  Paste  Eggs,  Hyde's  Account  of  the  Festum  Ovorum. 

b  Bourne,  chap.  xxi.  In  the  Churchwardens'  Accounts  of  St.  Mary  at  Hill,  in  the  City  of 
London,  A.  D.  1493,  is  the  following  article :  "  For  a  Mat  for  the  Skreoing  Pewe,  iij  d." 

€  See  Dufresne's  Glossary,  v.  "  Carnelevamen."  Wheatly  on  the  Coin.  Pr.  edit.  8vo.  1741, 
p.  222. 


SHROVE    TUESDAT.  57 

thus  d  :  "Men  eat  and  drink  and  abandon  themselves  to  every  kind  of  sportive 
foolery,  as  if  resolved  to  have  their  fill  of  pleasure  before  they  were  to  die,  and 

d  J.  Boemus  Aubanus  gives  us  the  following  description  of  the  manner  of  spending  the  three 
days  before  the  Lent-Fast  commenced,  commonly  called  the  Carnival,  that  is,  "  the  bidding  fare- 
well to  flesh." 

"  Quo  item  modo  tres  praecedentes  quadrageaimale  jejuniuru  dies  peragat,  dicere  opus  non 
erit,  si  cognoscatur,  qua  popular!  qua  spontanea  insania  caetera  Germania,  a  qua  et  Fran- 
conia  minime  desciscit,  tune  vivat.  Comedit  enim  et  bibit,  seque  ludo,  jocoque  omnimodo 
adeo  dedit,  quasi  usus  nunquam  veniant,  quasi  eras  moritura,  hodie  prius  omnium  rerum 
satietatem  capere  velit.  Novi  aliquid  spectaculi  quisque  excogitat,  quo  mentes  et  oculos  om- 
nium delectet,  admirationeque  detineat.  Atque,  ne  pudor  obstet,  qui  se  ludicro  illi  committunt, 
facies  larvis  obducunt,  sexum  et  aetatem  meutientes,  viri  mulierum  vestimenta,  mulieres  virorum 
induunt.  jQuidam  Satyros,  aut  malos  dsemones  potius  reprsesentare  volentes,  minio  se,  aut 
atramento  tingunt,  habituque  nefando  deturpant,  alii  nudi  discurrentes  Lupercos  agunt,  a 
quibus  ego  annuum  istum  delirandi  morem  ad  nos  defluxisse  existimo."  p.  267-  And  Bishop 
Hall,  in  his  Triumphs  of  Rome,  thus  describes  the  Jovial  Carneval.  "  Every  man  cries  Sclolta, 
letting  himself  loose  to  the  maddest  of  merriments,  marching  wildly  up  and  down  in  all  forms  of 
disguises ;  each  man  striving  to  outgo  other  in  strange  pranks  of  humourous  debauchedness,  iu 
which  even  those  of  the  holy  order  are  wont  to  be  allowed  their  share ;  for  howsoever  it  was  by 
some  sullen  authority  forbidden  to  Clerks,  and  Votaries  of  any  kind,  to  go  masked  and  misguised 
in  those  seemingly  abusive  solemnities,  yet  more  favourable  construction  hath  offered  to  make 
them  believe  that  it  was  chiefly  for  their  sakes,  for  the  refreshment  of  their  sadder  and  more 
restrained  spirits,  that  this  free  and  lawless  Festivity  was  taken  up."  p.  19. 

"  Shrove -Tide,"  says  Mr.  Warton,  "  was  formerly  a  season  of  extraordinary  sport  and  feasting. 
In  the  Romish  Church  there  was  antiently  a  Feast  immediately  preceding  Lent,  which  lasted  many 
days,  called  CARNISCAFIUM.  See  Carpenlier  in  t».  Supp.  L;it.  Glo-^s.  Du  Cange,  torn.  i.  p.  381. 
In  some  cities  of  France  an  officer  was  annually  chosen,  called  Le  Prince  d'Amoreux,  who  pre- 
sided over  the  sports  of  the  youth  for  six  days  before  Ash-Wednesday.  Ibid.  v.  AMORATUS,  p.  195; 
and  v.  CARDINALIS,  p.  81S.  Also  v.  SPINETUM,  torn.  iii.  p.  848.  Some  traces  of  these  Festivities 
still  remain  in  our  Universities.  In  the  Percy  Household  Book,  1512,  it  appears  "  that  the  Clergy 
and  Officers  of  Lord  Percy's  Chapel  performed  a  play  before  his  Lordship,  upon  Slirowftewesday 
at  night."  p.  345.  See  also  Dodsley's  Collection  of  Old  Plays,  vol.  xii.  p.  403,  last  edition. 

Reed's  edit,  of  Shakspeare,  vol.  xii.  p.  235.     On  part  of  the  old  song  "And 
welcome  merry  Shrove-tide." 

In  a  curious  tract,  entitled  "  Vox  Graculi,"  quarto,  1623,  p.  55,  is  the  following  quaint  descrip- 
tion of  Shrove-Tuesday :  "  Here  must  enter  that  wadling,  stradling,  bursten-gutted  Carnifex  of 
all  Christendome,  vulgarly  enstiled  Shrove  Tuesday,  but,  more  pertinently,  sole  Monarch  of  the 
Mouth,  high  Steward  to  the  Stomach,  chiefe  Ganimede  to  the  Guts,  prime  peere  of  the  Pullets, 
first  Favourite  to  the  Frying-pans,  greatest  Bashaw  to  the  Batter-bowles,  Protector  of  the  Pan- 
cakes, first  Founder  of  the  Fritters,  Baron  of  Bacon-flitch,  Earle  of  Egge-baskets,  &c.  This 
corpulent  Commander  of  those  chollericke  things  called  Cookes,  will  shew  himselfe  to  be  but  of 
ignoble  education ;  for  by  his  manners  you  may  finde  him  better  fed  than  taught  wherever  he 
comes." 

VOL.    I.  J 


58  SHKOVE    TUESDAY. 

as  it  were  forego  every  sort  of  delight."    Thus  also  Selden :  "  What  the  Church 

debars  us  one  day,  she  gives  us  leave  to  take  out  another — first  there  is  a 

Carnival,  and  then  a  Lent." 

The  following  extract  from  Barnaby  Googe's  Translation  of  Naogeorgus  will 

shew  the  extent  of  these  festivities  : 

«  Now  when  at  length  the  pleasant  time  of  Shrove-tide  comes  in  place, 
And  cruell  fastjng  dayes  at  hand  approch  with  solemne  grace  : 
Then  olde  and  yong  are  both  as  mad,  as  ghestes  of  Bacchus  feast, 
And  foure  dayes  long  they  tipple  square,  and  feede  and  never  reast*. 
Downe  goes  the  hogges  in  every  place,  and  puddings  every  wheare 
Do  swarme  :   the  dice  are  shakte  and  tost,  and  cardes  apace  they  teare  : 
In  every  house  are  showtes  and  cryes,  and  mirth,  and  revell  route, 
And  daintie  tables  spred,  and  all  be  set  with  ghestes  aboute : 
With  sundrie  playes  and  Christmasse  games,  and  feare  and  shame  away, 
The  tongue  is  set  at  libertie.  and  hath  no  kiude  of  stay. 
All  thinges  are  lawfull  then  and  done,  no  pleasure  passed  by, 
That  in  their  mindes  they  can  deuise,  as  if  they  then  should  die  : 
The  chiefest  man  is  he,  and  one  that  most  deserueth  prayse, 
Among  the  rest  that  can  finde  out  the  fondest  kinde  of  playes f. 
On  him  they  looke  and  gaze  vpon,  and  laugh  with  lustie  cheare, 
Whom  boyes  do  follow,  crying  foole,  and  such  like  other  geare. 
He  in  the  meane  time  thinkes  himselfe  a  wondrous  worthie  man, 
Not  mooued  with  their  wordes  nor  cryes,  do  whasoeuer  they  can. 
Some  sort  there  are  that  runne  with  staues,  or  fight  in  armour  fine, 
Or  shew  the  people  foolishe  toyes,  for  some  small  peece  of  wine. 

•  "  This  furnishyng  of  our  bellies  with  delicates,  that  we  use  on  Fastingham  Tuiesday,  what 
tyme  some  eate  tyl  they  be  enforsed  to  forbeare  all  again,  sprong  of  Bacchus  Feastes,  that  were 
celebrated  in  Rome  with  great  joy  and  deliciouse  fare."  Langley's  Polidore  Vergile,  fol.  103. 

f  Among  the  Records  of  the  City  of  Norwich,  mention  is  made  of  one  John  Gladman,  "  who 
was  ever,  and  at  thys  our  is  a  man  of  sad  disposition,  and  trewe  and  feythfull  to  God  and  to  the 
Kyng,  of  disporte  as  hath  hen  acustomed  in  ony  Cite  or  Burgh  thorowe  alle  this  reame,  on  Tuesday 
in  the  last  ende  of  Cristemesse  [1440,]  viz'.  Fastyngonge  Tuesday,  made  a  disport  with  hys  neygh- 
bours,  havyng  his  hors  trappyd  with  tynnsoyle  and  other  nyse  disgisy  things,  coronned  as  Kyng  of 
Crestemesse,  in  tokyn  that  seson  should  end  with  the  twelve  monethes  of  the  yere,  aforn  hym  went 
yche  moneth  dysguysed  after  the  seson  requiryd,  and  Lenton  cladin  whyte  and  red  heryngs  skinns 
and  his  hors  trappyd  with  oystershells  after  him,  in  token  that  sadnesse  shuld  folowe  and  an 
holy  tyme,  and  so  rode  in  divers  stretis  of  the  Cite  with  other  people  with  hym  disguysed,  makyng 
.myrth,  disportes,  and  plays,  &c."  Blomefield's  Norfolk,  edit.  fol.  1745,  vol.  ii.  p.  111. 


SHROVE   TUESDAY.  59 

Eche  partie  hath  his  fauourers,  and  faythfull  friendes  enowe, 

That  readie  are  to  turne  themselues,  as  fortune  liste  to  bowe. 

But  some  agairie  the  dreadfull  shape  of  deuils  on  them  take, 

And  chase  such  as  they  meete,  and  make  poore  boyes  for  feare  to  quake. 

Some  naked  runne  about  the  streetes,  their  faces  hid  alone, 

With  visars  close,  that,  so  disguisde,  they  might  be  knowne  of  none. 

Both  men  and  women  chaunge  their  weede,  the  men  in  maydes  aray, 

And  wanton  wenches  drest  like  men,  doe  trauell  by  the  way, 

And  to  their  neighbours  houses  go,   or  where  it  likes  them  best, 

Perhaps  unto  some  auncient  friend  or  olde  acquainted  ghest, 

Unknowne,  and  speaking  but  fewc  wordes,  the  meat  deuour  they  up 

That  is  before  them  set,  and  cleane  they  swinge  of  euery  cup. 

Some  runne  about  the  streets  attyrde  like  Monks,  and  some  like  Kings, 

Accompanied  with  pompe  and  garde,   and  other  stately  things. 

Some  hatch  yong  fooles  as  hennes  do  egges  with  good  and  speedie  lucke, 

Or  as  the  goose  doth  vse  to  do,  or  as  the  quacking  ducke. 

Some  like  wilde  beastes  doe  runne  abrode  in  skinnes  that  diuers  bee 

Arayde,  and  eke  witli  lothsome  shapes,  that  dreadfull  are  to  see  : 

They  counterfet  both  beares  and  woolves,  and  lions  fierce  in  sight, 

And  raging  bulles.     Some  play  the  cranes,  with  wings  and  stilts  upright. 

Some  like  the  filthie  forme  of  apes,   and  some  like  fooles  are  drest, 

Which  best  beseeme  these  Papistes  all,   that  thus  keepe  Bacchus  feast. 

But  others  beare  a  torde,   that'on  a  cushion  soft  they  lay, 

And  one  there  is  that  with  a  flap  doth  keepe  the  flies  away. 

I  would  there  might  an  other  be,  an  officer  of  those, 

Whose  roome  might  serve  to  take  away  the  scent  from  every  nose. 

Some  others  make  a  man  all  stuft  with  straw  or  ragges  within, 

Apparayled  in  dublet  faire,  and  hosen  passing  trim  : 

Whom  as  a  man  that  lately  dyed  of  honest  life  and  fame, 

In  blanket  hid  they  beare  about,  and  streightwayes  with  the  same 

They  liurle  him  vp  into  the  ayre,  not  suffring  him  to  fall, 

And  this  they  doe  at  diuers  tyines  the  citie  over  allg. 

I  shew  not  here  their  daunces  yet,   with  filthie  iestures  mad, 

Nor  other  wanton  sportes  that  on  these  holydayes  are  had. 

*  This  alludes  to  a  sport  at  least  similar  to  that  of  "  Holly-Boy  and  Ivy-Girl,"  practised  in 
East  Kent;  already  mentioned  in  p.  5<2.  The  writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine,  from  which  it 
is  noticed,  says,  "  Mr.  Urban,  Being  on  a  visit  on  Tuesday  last  in  a  little  obscure  village  in  this 
county,  I  found  an  odd  kind  of  sport  going  forward :  the  Girls,  from  eighteen  to  five  or  six  years 


6()  SIIROVB    TUESDAY. 

There  places  are  where  such  as  hap  to  come  within  this  dore, 

Though  old  acquainted  friendes  they  be,  or  never  scene  before, 

And  say  not  first  here  by  your  leave,  both  in  and  out  I  go, 

They  binde  their  handes  behinde  their  backes,  nor  any  difference  tho 

Of  man  or  woman  is  there  made,  but  basons  ringing  great, 

Before  them  do  they  daunce  with  joy,  and  sport  in  euery  streat. 

There  are  that  certain  praiers  have  that  on  the  Tuesday  fall, 

Against  the  quartaine  ague,  and  the  other  feuers  all. 

But  others  than  sowe  onyon  seede,  the  greater  to  be  scene, 

And  persley  eke,  and  lettys  both,  to  have  them  always  greene. 

Of  truth  I  loth  for  to  declare  the  foolish  toyes  and  trickes, 

That  in  these  dayes  are  done  by  these  same  Popish  Catholickes  : 

If  snow  lie  deep  upon  the  ground  and  almost  thawing  bee, 

Then  fooles  in  number  great  thou  shall  in  every  corner  see : 

For  balles  of  snow  they  make,  and  them  at  one  another  cast, 

Till  that  the  conquerde  part  doth  yeelde  and  run  away  at  lust. 

No  matrone  olde  nor  sober  man  can  freely  by  them  come, 

At  home  he  must  abide  that  will  these  wanton  fellowes  shonne. 

Besides  the  noble  men,  the  riche,  and  men  of  hie  degree, 

Least  they  with  common  people  should  not  seeme  so  mad  to  bee, 

There  wagons  finely  framdc  before,  and  for  this  matter  meete, 

And  lustie  horse  and  swift  of  pace,   well  trapt  from  head  to  feete 

They  put  therein,  about  whose  necke  and  every  place  before, 

A  hundred  gingling  belles  do  hang,  to  make  his  courage  more. 

Their  wives  and  children  therein  set,  behinde  themselves  do  stande, 

Well  armde  with  whips,  and  holding  faste  the  bridle  in  their  hande, 

With  all  their  force  throughout  the  streetes  and  market-place  they  ron, 

As  if  some  whirlewinde  mad,  or  tempest  great  from  skies  should  come. 

old,  were  assembled  in  a  crowd,  and  burning  an  uncouth  effigy,  which  they  called  an  Holly-Boy, 
and  which  it  seems  they  had  stolen  from  the  Boys,  who,  in  another  part  of  the  village  were  assem- 
bled together,  and  burning  what  they  called  an  Ivy-Girl,  which  they  had  stolen  from  the  Girls: 
all  this  ceremony  was  accompanied  with  loud  huzzas,  noise,  and  acclamations.  What  it  all  means 
I  cannot  tell,  although  I  inquired  of  several  of  the  oldest  people  in  the  place,  who  could  only 
answer  that  it  had  always  been  a  sport  at  this  season  of  the  year."  Dated  East  Kent,  Feb.  16th. 
The  Tuesday  before  Shrove  Tuesday  in  1779  fell  on  February  the  9th. 

"  The  peasantry  of  France"  (says  the  Morning  Chronicle,  March  loth,  1791)  "  distinguish  4sh 
Wednesday  in  a  very  singular  manner.  They  carry  an  Effigy  of  a  similar  description  to  our  Guy 
Faux  round  the  adjacent  villages,  and  collect  money  for  his  funeral,  as  this  day,  according  to  their 
creed,  is  the  death  of  good  living.  After  sundry  absurd  mummeries,  the  corpse  is  deposited  in  the 
earth."  This  may  possibly  be  a  relic  of  the  same  usage. 


SHROVE    TUESDAY.  l 

As  fa»t  as  may  be  from  the  streates  th'  amazed  people  flye, 

And  gives  them  place  while  they  about  doe  runne  continually. 

Yea  sometimes  Icgges  or  armes  they  breake,  and  horse  and  carte  and  all 

They  overthrow,  with  such  a  force,  they  in  their  course  doe  fall. 

Much  lesse  they  man  or  ohilde  do  spare,  that  meetes  them  in  the  waye, 

Nor  they  content  themselves  to  use  this  madnesse  all  the  daye : 

But  even  till  midnight  holde  they  on,  their  pastimes  for  to  make, 

Whereby  they  hinder  men  of  sleepe  and  cause  their  heads  to  ake. 

But  all  this  same  they  care  not  for,  nor  doe  esteem  a  heare, 

So  they  may  have  their  pleasure  still,  and  foolish  wanton  geare  k."     fol.  47.  b. 

Among  the  sports  of  Shrove  Tuesday,  Cock-fighting'  and  throwing  at  Cocks 
appear  almost  every  where  to  have  prevailed. 


h  Armstrong,  in  his  History  of  Minorca,  p.  2O2,  says,  "  During  the  Carnival,  the  Ladies  amuse 
themselves  in  throwing  oranges  at  their  lovers;  and  he  who  has  received  one  of  these  on  his  eye, 
or  has  a  tooth  beat  out  by  it,  is  convinced,  from  that  moment,  that  he  is  a  high  favourite  with  the 
fair-one,  who  has  done  him  so  much  honour.  Sometimes  a  good  hand-full  of  flour  is  thrown 
full  in  one's  eyes,  which  gives  the  utmost  satisfaction,  and  is  a  favour  that  is  quickly  followed  by 
others  of  a  less  trifling  nature." — "  We  well  know  that  the  holydays  of  the  antient  Romans  were, 
like  these  Carnivals,  a  mixture  of  devotion  and  debauchery." — "  This  time  of  festivity  is  sacred  to 
pleasure,  and  it  is  sinful  to  exercUe  their  calling  until  Lent  arrives,  with  the  two  curses  of  these 
people,  Abstinence  and  Labour,  in  its  train." 

1  The  learned  Moresin  informs  us  that  the  Papists  derived  this  custom  of  exhibiting  Cock-fights 
on  one  day  every  year  from  the  Athenians,  and  from  an  institution  of  Themistooles.  "  Galli 
Gullinacei,"  says  he,  "  producuntur  per  diem  singulis  annis  in  pugnam  a  Papisequis,  ex  veteri 
Atheniensium  forma  ducto  more  et  Themistoclis  instituto."  Cael.  Rhod.  lib.  ix.  variar.  lect. 
cap.  xlvi.  idem  Pergami  fiebat.  Alex,  ab  Alex.  lib.  v.  cap.  8.  —  Moresini  Papatus,  p.  66. 

An  account  of  ihe  origin  of  this  custom  amongst  the  Athenians  may  be  seen  in  .ffiliani  Variae 
Historic,  lib.  II.  cap.  xxviii. 

This  custom  was  retained  in  many  Schools  in  Scotland  within  the  last  century.  Perhaps  it  is 
still  in  use.  The  School-masters  were  said  to  preside  at  the  Battle,  and  claimed  the  run-away 
Cocks,  called  Fugees,  as  their  perquisites. 

Carpentier  calls  "  Gallorum  pngna"  Ludi  genus  inter  pueros  scholares,  non  uno  in  loco  usitati. 

Lit.  remiss.  An.  1383,  in  Reg.  134.  Chartoph.  Reg.  ch.  37-  "  En  ce  Karesme  entrant 

a  une  feste  ou  dance  que  Ten  faisoit  lors  d'Enfans  pour  la  Jouste  des  Coqs,  ainsi  qu'il  est  accous- 
tume  (en  Dauphin6)." 

Du  Cange,  in  his  Glossary,  torn.  ii.  col.  1679,  says,  that  although  this  practice  was  confined  to 
School-boys  in  several  provinces  of  France,  it  was  nevertheless  forbidden  in  the  Council  of  Copria 
(supposed  to  be  Cognac)  in  the  year  1260.  The  Decree  recites  "  that  although  it  was  then 


62  SHROVE    TUESDAr. 

Fitzstephen,  as  cited  by  Stowe,  informs  us  that  antiently  on  Shrove  Tuesday 
the  School-boys  used  to  bring  Cocks  of  the  Game,  now  called  Game  Cocks, 
to  their  Master,  and  to  delight  themselves  in  Cock-fighting  all  the  forenoon k. 

become  obsolete,  as  well  in  Grammar  Schools  as  in  other  places,  yet  mischiefs  had  arisen,  &e." 
"  DUELLUM  GALLORUM  gallinaceorum  etiamnum  in  aliquot  provinces  usurpatum  a  Scholaribus 
puerulis,  vetatur  in  Concilio  Copriniacensi  An.  1260,  cap.  7.  quod  scilicet  superstiHonem 
quamdam  saperet,  vel  potius  sortilegii  aut  purgationis  vulgaris  nescio  quid  redolc  ret ;  quia  ex 
duello  gallomm,  quod  in  partibus  istis,-tam  in  Scholis  Grammaticae,  quam  in  aliis  fieri  inoievit, 
nonnulla  mala  aliquoties  sunt  exorta,  &c."  Du  Cange,  in  verbo.  Vide  Carpentier.  o.  Jasia. 

k  Fitzstephen  continues  :  "  After  dinner,  all  the  youths  go  into  the  fields,  to  play  at  the  Ball. 
The  Scholars  of  every  School  have  their  Ball,  or  Bastion,  in  their  hands.  The  antient  and 
wealthy  men  of  the  city  come  forth  on  horseback,  to  see  the  sport  of  the  young  men,  and  to  take 
part  of  the  pleasure,  in  beholding  their  agility."  Strype's  edit,  of  Stowe,  b.  i.  p.  247.  See  also 
Dr.  Pegge's  edit,  of  Fitzstephen's  London,  4lo.  1792,  pp.  45,  74.  It  should  seem  that  Foot-Ball 
is  meant  here. 

In  Sir  John  Sinclair's  Statistical  Account  of  Scotland,  Svo.  Eilinb.  1795,  vol.  xv.  p.  521 ,  the 
minister  of  Kirkmichael,  in  Perthshire,  speaking  of  the  manners  and  customs  of  the  inhabitants, 
says,  "  Foot-Ball  is  a  common  amusement  with  the  School-boys,  who  also  preserve  the  custom  of 
Cock-fighting  on  Shrove  Tuesday." 

Hutchinson,  in  his  History  of  Cumberland,  vol.  ii.  p.  322,  speaking  of  the  parish  of  Bromfield, 
and  a  custom  there,  that  having  now  fallen  into  disuse,  will  soon  be  totally  forgotten,  tells  us : 
"  Till  within  the  last  twenty  or  thirty  years,  it  had  been  a  custom,  time  out  of  mind,  for  the 
Scholars  of  the  Free-School  of  Bromfield,  about  the  beginning  of  Lent,  or  in  the' more  expressive 
phraseology  of  the  country,  at  Fasting's  Even,  to  har  out  the  Master ;  i.  e.  to  depose  and  exclude 
him  from  his  school,  and  keep  him  out  for  three  days.  During  the  period  of  this  expulsion,  the 
doors  of  the  citadel,  the  School,  were  strongly  barricadoed  within :  and  the  Boys,  who  defended 
it  like  a  besieged  city,  were  armed,  in  general,  with  bore-tree,  or  elder,  pop-guns.  The  Master, 
meanwhile,  made  various  efforts,  both  by  force  and  stratagem,  to  regain  his  lost  authority.  If  he 
succeeded,  heavy  tasks  were  imposed,  and  the  business  of  the  School  was  resumed  and  submitted 
to  ;  but  ii  more  commonly  happened  that  he  was  repulsed  and  defeated.  After  three  days'  siege, 
terms  of  capitulation  were  proposed  by  the  Master  and  accepted  by  the  Boys.  These  terms  were 
summed  up  in  an  old  formula  of  Latin  Leonine  verses  ;  stipulating  what  hours  and  times  should, 
for  the  year  ensuing,  be  allotted  to  study,  and  what  to  relaxation  and  play.  Securities  were  pro- 
vided by  each  side,  for  the  due  performance  of  these  stipulations :  and  the  paper  was  then  so- 
lemnly signed  both  by  Master  and  Scholars. 

"  One  of  the  articles  always  stipulated  for  and  granted,  was,  the  privilege  of  immediately  cele- 
brating certain  Games  of  long  standing ;  viz.  a  Foot-Ball  Match,  and  a  Cock-Fight.  Captains, 
as  they  were  called,  were  then  chosen  to  manage  and  preside  over  these  games  :  one  from  that 
part  of  the  parish  which  lay  to  the  Westward  of  the  School ;  the  other  from  the  East.  Cocks 
and  Foot-Ball  Players  were  sought  for  with  great  diligence.  The  party,  whose  Cocks  won  the 


SHROVE    TUESDAY.  63 

One  rejoices  to  find  no  mention  of  throwing  at  Cocks  on  the  occasion,  a  horrid 
species  of  cowardly  cruelty,  compared  with  which,  Cock-fighting,  savage  as  it 
may  appear,  is  to  be  reckoned  among  "  the  tender  mercies"  of  barbarity. 

THROWING    AT    COCKS. 

The  unknown  very  humane  writer  of  a  pamphlet  entitled  "  Clemency  to 
Brutes,  &c."  4to.  Lond.  1761,  after  some  forcible  exhortations  against  the 
use  of  this  cruel  diversion,  in  which  there  is  a  shocking  abuse  of  time,  ("  an 
abuse  so  much  the  more  shocking  as  it  is  shewn  in  tormenting  that  very  crea- 
ture which  seems  by  Nature  intended  for  our  remembrancer  to  improve  it :  the 
creature,  whose  voice,  like  a  trumpet,  summoneth  man  forth  to  his  labour  in 
the  morning,  and  admonisheth  him  of  the  flight  of  his  most  precious  hours 
throughout  the  day,")  has  the  following  observation :  "  Whence  it  had  its  rise 
among  us  I  could  never  yet  learn  to  my  satisfaction1:  but  the  common  account 


most  battles,  was  victorious  in  tbe  Cock-pit ;  and  the  prize  a  small  silver  bell,  suspended  to  the 
button  of  the  victor's  hat,  and  worn  for  three  successive  Sundays.  After  the  Cock-fight  was 
ended,  the  Foot-Ball  was  thrown  down  in  the  Church-yard ;  and  the  point  then  to  be  contested 
was,  which  party  could  carry  it  to  the  house  of  his  respective  Captain ;  to  Dundraw,  perhaps,  or 
West-Newton,  a  distance  of  two  or  three  miles :  every  inch  of  which  ground  was  keenly  disputed. 
All  the  honour  accruing  to  the  conqueror  at  Foot-Ball,  was  that  of  possessing  the  Ball.  Details 
of  these  matches  were  the  general  topics  of  conversation  among  the  villagei-s ;  and  were  dwelt  on 
with  hardly  less  satisfaction  than  their  ancestors  enjoyed  in  relating  their  feats  in  the  Border  Wars. 
"  It  never  was  the  fortune  of  the  writer  of  this  account  to  bear  the  Bell  (a  pleasure,  which,  it  is 
not  at  all  improbable,  had  its  origin  in  the  Bell's  having  been  the  frequent,  if  not  the  usual 
reward  of  victory  in  such  rural  contests)." 

"  Our  Bromfield  Sports  were  sometimes  celebrated  in  indigenous  songs  :  one  verse  only  of  one 
of  them  we  happen  to  remember  : 

"  At  Scales,  great  Tom  Barwise  gat  the  Ba'  in  his  hand, 

And  t'  wives  a\v  ran  out,  and  shouted,  and  bann'd : 

Tom  Cowan  then  pulch'd  and  flang  him  'rnang  t'  whins, 

And  he  bledder'd,  Od-white-te,  tou's  broken  my  shins. 

"  One  cannot  but  feel  a  more  than  ordinary  curiosity  to  be  able  to  trace  the  origin  of  this  im- 
provement on  the  Roman  Saturnalia :  and  which  also  appears  pretty  evidently  to  be  the  basis  of 
the  Institution  of  the  Terree  Jilius  in  Oxford,  now  likewise  become  obsolete :  but  we  are  lost  in  a 
wilderness  of  conjectures :  and  as  we  have  nothing  that  is  satisfactory  to  ourselves  to  ofier,  we 
will  not  uselessly  bewilder  our  Readers." 

•  \    .•'•"'    :'      . ';  >i    .H'.-i      '<•  ->i''     ,)   ••  ' ;       •'    j.ri-, ,/   A 

1  In  an  old  jest-book  entitled  "  Ingenii  Fructus,  or  the  Cambridge  Jests,  &c.  by  W.  B."  Lond. 
printed  for  D.  Pratt,  Corner  of  Church-Lane,  Strand,  no  date,  12mo.  is  given  what  is  called 


64  SHROVE   TUESDAY. 

of  it  is,  that  the  crowing  of  a  Cock  prevented  our  Saxon  ancestors  from  mas- 
sacring their  conquerors,  another  part  of  our  ancestors,  the  Danes,  on  the 
morning  of  a  Shrove  Tuesday,  whilst  asleep  in  their  beds1"." 

the  original  of  "  the  throwing  at  Cocks  on  Shrove  Tuesday,"  in  which  the  rise  of  this  custom  is 
traced  up  to  an  unlucky  discovery  of  an  adulterous  amour  by  the  crowing  of  a  cock.  This 
account,  I  scarce  need  observe,  is  too  ridiculous  to  merit  a  serious  confutation. 

m  Page  26.  At  p.  30  is  the  following  passage :  "  As  Christians  consider  how  very  ill  the  pas- 
time we  are  dissuading  from  agrees  with  the  season,  and  of  how  much  more  suitable  an  use  the 
victims  of  that  pastime  might  be  made  to  us.  On  the  day  following  its  tumultuous  and  bloody 
anniversary,  our  Church  enters  upon  a  long  course  of  humiliation  and  fasting:  and  surely  an  eve 
of  riot  and  carnage  is  a  most  unfit  preparative  for  such  a  course.  Surely  it  would  be  infinitely 
more  becoming  us  to  make  the  same  use  of  the  Cock  at  this  season  which  St.  Peter  once  made  of 
it.  Having  denied  his  Master,  when  it  crew,  he  wept."  The  author  adds,  though  by  mistake, 
"  No  other  nation  under  Heaven,  I  believe,  practises  it  but  our  own." 

In  "  The  British  Apollo,"  fol.  Lond.  1708,  vol.  i.  num.  4,  is  the  following  query :  "  How  old 
and  from  whence  is  the  custom  of  throwing  at  Cocks  on  Shrove  Tuesday  ?  A.  There  are  several 
different  opinions  concerning  the  original  of  this  custom,  but  we  are  most  inclined  to  give  credit 
to  one  Cranenstein,  an  old  German  author,  who,  speaking  of  the  customs  observed  by  the 
Christian  nations,  gives  us  the  following  account  of  the  original  institution  of  the  ceremony. 

"  When  the  Danes  were  masters  of  England,  and  lorded  it  over  the  nations  of  the  island,  the 
inhabitants  of  a  certain  great  city,  grown  weary  of  their  slavery,  had  formed  a  secret  conspiracy, 
to  murder  their  masters  in  one  bloody  night,  and  twelve  men  had  undertaken  to  enter  the  town- 
hoube  by  a  stratagem,  and  seizing  the  arms,  surprize  the  guard  which  kept  it ;  at  which  time 
their  fellows,  upon  a  signal  given,  were  to  come  out  of  their  houses  and  murder  all  opposers : 
but  when  they  were  putting  it  in  execution,  the  unusual  crowing  and  fluttering  of  the  Cocks, 
about  the  place  they  attempted  to  enter  at,  discovered  their  design ;  upon  which  the  Danes 
became  so  enraged,  that  they  doubled  their  cruelty,  and  used  them  with  more  severity  than  ever. 
Soon  after  they  were  forced  from  the  Danish  yoak,  and  to  revenge  themselves  on  the  Cocks  for 
the  misfortune  they  involved  them  in,  instituted  this  custom  of  knocking  them  on  the  head  on 
Shrove  Tuesday,  the  day  on  which  it  happened.  This  sport,  tho'  at  first  only  practised  in  one 
City,  in  process  of  time  became  a  natural  divertisement,  and  has  continued  ever  since  the  Danes 
first  lost  this  Island." 

In  "The  Gentleman's  Journal;  or  the  Monthly  Miscellany,"  for  January  1692-3,  is  given  an 
Engl'sh  epigram  "  On  a  Cock  at  Rochester,"  by  Sir  Charles  Sedley,  wherein  occur  the  following 
lines,  which  imply,  as  it  should  seem,  as  if  the  Cock  suffered  this  annual  barbarity  by  way  of 
punishment  for  St.  Peter's  crime  in  denying  his  Lord  and  Master : 

"  May'st  thou  be  punish'd  for  St.  Peter's  crime, 
And  on  Shrove  Tuesday  perish  in  thy  prime." 

A  writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine,  vol.  LIU.  for  July  1783,  p.  578,  says,  "The  barbarous 
practice  of  throwing  at  a  Cock  tied  to  a  stake  at  Shrovetide,  I  think  I  have  read,  has  an  allusion 
to  the  indignities  offered  by  the  Jews  to  the  Saviour  of  the  World  before  his  Crucifixion." 


SHROVE   TUESDAY.  65 

In  the  preface  to  Hearne's  edition  of  Thomas  Otterbourne,  p.  66 n,  he  tells 
us  that  this  custom  of  throwing  at  Cocks  must  be  traced  to  the  time  of  King 
Henry  the  Fifth,  and  our  victories  then  gained  over  the  French,  whose  name  in 
Latin  is  synonymous  with  that  of  a  Cock0,  and  that  our  brave  countrymen 
hinted  by  it  that  they  could  as  easily,  at  any  time,  overthrow  the  Gallic  armies 
as  they  could  knock  down  the  Cocks  on  Shrove  Tuesday.  To  those  who  arc 
satisfied  with  Hearne's  explication  of  the  custom  we  must  object,  that,  from  the 
very  best  authorities  it  appears  also  to  have  been  practised  in  France,  and  that 
too,  long  before  the  reign  of  our  Henry  the  Fifth. 

Carpentier,  under  the  year  1  '355,  mentions  a  petition  of  the  Scholars  to  the 
Master  of  the  School  of  Ramera,  to  give  them  a  Cock,  which  they  asserted  the 

"  "  Morem  ilium  apud  Nostrates  baculoa  in  Gallinaceos  jaciendi  ad  victorias  Nostratium  in 
Francos  sive  Gallos,  regnante  Henrico  v*0.  precipue  esse  referendum.  Cjuod  sane  lubenter, 
ut  opinor,  agnosces,  si  forsitan  in  mentem  revocaveris,  inde  nostrates  innuere  voluisse,  se  tarn 
expedite  posse  Francos  (vulgo  Gallos  appellatos)  quomodocunque  exercitis  sui  potentia  et  Quad- 
rigarum  apparatu  gloriantes,  superare,  ferro  vastare,  et  jaculis  configere,  illorumque  etiam 
decus  in  turpitudinem  convertere,  quam  et  baculorum  suorum  jactu  die  Martis,  Caput  Jejunii  sive 
Carnisprivii  mox  antecedent!,  Gallinaceos  prosternunt  ac  perdunt,  posteaque  eodem  die  otia  et 
convivia  per  horas  aliquot  agitant."  Prsefatio  ad  Hearnii,  edit.  Thomae  Otterbourne,  &c.  p.  Ixvi. 

0  A  writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine,  vol.  vii.  for  January  1737,  p.  7>  says,  I  think  very 
erroneously,  that  the  "  Inhabitants  of  London,  by  way  of  reproach  for  imitating  the  French  in 
their  modes  and  fashions,  were  named  COCKNEYS,  (turning  upon  the  thought  of  a  Cock  signify, 
ing  a  Frenchman,)  i.  e.  Apes  and  Mimics  of  France. 

With  regard  to  the  word  Cockney,  my  learned  friend  Mr.  Douce  is  of  opinion,  that  perhaps 
after  all  that  has  been  said  with  respect  to  the  origin  and  meaning  of  this  word,  it  is  nothing 
more  than  a  term  of  fondness  or  affection  used  towards  male  children,  (in  London  more  particu- 
larly,) in  the  same  manner  as  Pigsnie  is  used  to  a  woman.  The  latter  word  is  very  anticnt  in  our 
tongue,  and  occurs  in  Chaucer : 

"  She  was  a  Primerole,  a  Piggcsnie 
For  anie  Lord  to  liggen  in  his  beclde, 
Or  yet  for  any  good  Yeman  to  wedde." 

Cant.  Tales,  1.  3267. 

The  Romans  used  Oculus  in  the  like  sense*  and  perhaps  Pigsnie,  in  the  vulgar  language  only, 
means  Ocellus,  the  eyes  of  that  creature  being  remarkably  small.  Congrevc,  in  his  Old  Bachelor, 
makes  Fondle-wife  call  his  mate  "  Cockey."  Burd  and  Bird  are  also  used  in  the  same  sense. 
Shadwell  not  only  uses  the  word  Plgsney  in  tlus  sense,  but  also  Birdsney.  See  his  Plays,  vol.  i. 
p.  357,  v.  iii.  p.  385. 

VOL.    I.  K 


66  SHROVE    TUESDAY. 

/ 

said  Master  owed  them  upon  Shrove  Tuesday,  to  throw  sticks  at,  according  to 
the  usual  custom,  for  their  sport  and  entertainment  P. 


The  learned  Hickes,  in  his  Gram.  Anglo-Sax.  Ling.  Vett.  Septentr.  Thes.  torn.  i.  p.  231,  gives 
the  following  derivation  of  Cockney  :  "  Nunc  Coquin,  Coquine,  qure  olim  apud  Gallos  otio,  gulae 
et  ventri  deditos,  ignavmu,  ignavam,  desidiosum,  desidiosam,  segnem  signifieabant.  Hinc  urbanos, 
utpote  a  rusticis  laboiibus,  ad  vitam  sedcntariam  et  quasi  desidiosam  avocatos  pagani  nostri  olim 
C'okaigncs,  quod  nunc  scribitur  Cockneys,  vocabant.  Et  poeta  hie  noster  in  Monachos  et  Moniales, 
ut  segno  genus  hominum,  qui  dcsidia;  dediti,  ventri  indulgebant  et  Coquinae  amatores  erant, 
malevolentissime  invehhur;  Monasteria  et  monasticam  Vitamin  Descriptione  Terrse  Cokaineae 
parabolice  perstringens."  See  also  Mr.  Tyrwhitt's  Obsei-vations  on  this  word  in  his  Chaucer, 
edit.  8vo.  Lond.  1775,  vol.  iv.  p.  253,  C.  Tales,  v.  420G.  Reed's  Old  Plays,  vol.  v,  83,  and 
vol.  xi.  306,  30J.  [See  also  Douce's  Illustrations  of  Shakspeare,  vol.  ii.  p.  151.] 

The  sense  of  the  word  "Cockney"  seems  afterwards  to  have  degenerated  into  an  effeminate 
person. 

Buttes,  in  his  "  Dyets  Dry  Dinner,"  Lond.  1599,  c.  2,  says,  "  A  Cocknl  is  inverted,  being  as 
much  as  incoct,  unripe :"  but  little  stress  can  be  laid  upon  our  author's  etymology. 

In  the  "  Workcs  of  John  Heivvood,  newly  imprinted,  &c."  4to.  Lond.  1598,  signat.  E  b.  is  the 
following  curious  passage : 

"  Men  say 

He  that  comlli  every  day,   shall  have  a  Cocknay, 

He  that  comth  now  and  then,  shall  have  a  fat  hen." 

•f  In  Carpentier's  Glossary,  under  the  words  "  Gallorum  pugna,"  A.  D.  1458,  some  differences 
are  mentioned  as  subsisting  between  the  Mayor  and  Aldermen  of  Abbeville,  and  the  Dean  and 
Chapter  of  the  church  of  St.  Ulfra,  which  are  made  up  on  the  following  condition :  "  C'est 
iygsavoir  que  lesdiz  Doyen  et  Cappitle  accordent  que  doresenavant  ilz  souflreront  et  consentiront, 
que  cellui  qui  dcmourra  Roy  d'  1'escolle  leuuit  dcs  Quaresmiaulx,  apporte  ou  fache  apporter  devers 
le  Maieur  de  laditte  Ville  ou  Camp  S.  George,  le  Cocq,  qui  demourra  ledit  jour  ou  autre  jour 
vjctorieuxj  ou  autre  Cocq;  et  que  ledit  Roy  presente  au  dit  Maieur  pour  d'icdluifaire  le  cholle*  en 
la  maniere  accoutume"e.  Qua;  ultima  verba  explicant  Lit.  remiss,  an.  1355,  in  Reg.  84.  ch.  273. 
"  Petierunt  a  magistro  Erardo  Maquart  magistro  scholarum  ejusdem  villa?  de  Rameru  quatenw 
llberaret  ft  tradcret  eis  mum  Gallum,  quern,  sicat  dicebant,  idem  magister  scholarum  debebat  eis  die 
ipsa  (Carniprivii)  utjacerent  baculos  ad  Gallumipsum,  more  solito,  pro  eorum  exhillaratione  et  litdo." 
His  authority  for  the,  first  is  Lib.  rub.  fol.  parvo  Domus  publ.  Abbavil.  fol.  214.  v°.  ad  an. 

1458. 

' 

Among  the  games  represented  in  the  margin  of  the  "  Roman  d'Alexandre,"  preserved  in  the 
Bodleian  Library  at  Oxford,  is  a  Drawing  of  two  Boys  carrying  a  thud  on  a  stick  thrust  between 
bis  legs,  who  holds  a  Cock  in  his  hands.  They  are  followed  by  another  Boy,  with  a  flag  or 
standard  emblazoned  with  a  Cudgel.  Mr.  Strutt  has  engraved  the  group  in  pL  xxxv.  of  his 

*  In  Beyer's  Dictionary,  "  faire  une  icolc"  is  rendered  "  to  be  pegged." 


SHROVE    TUESDAY.  67 

This  sport,  *iow  almost  entirely  forgotten  among  us,  we  wish  consigned  to 
eternal  oblivion :  an  amusement  fit  only  for  the  bloodiest  savages,  and  not  for 
humanized  men,  much  less  for  Christians. 

The  ingenious  artist,  Hogarth,  has  satirized  this  barbarity  in  the  first  of  the 
prints  called  the  Four  Stages  of  Cruelty.  Trusler's  description  is  as  follows: 
"  We  have  several  groupes  of  Boys  at  their  different  barbarous  diversions ;  one  is 
throwing  at  a  Cock,  the  universal  Shrove-tide  amusement,  beating  the  harmless 
feathered  animal  to  jelly." 

The  custom  of  throwing  at  Cocks  on  Shrove  Tuesday  is  still  (1790  retained 
at  Heston  in  Middlesex,  in  a  field  near  the  church.  Constables  have  been 
often  directed  to  attend  on  the  occasion,  in  order  to  put  a  stop  to  so  barbarous 
a  custom,  but  hitherto  they  have  attended  in  vain.  I  gathered  the  following 
particulars  from  a  person  who  regretted  that  in  his  younger  years  he  had  often 
been  a  partaker  of  the  sport.  The  owner  of  the  Cock  trains  his  bird  for  some 
time  before  Shrove  Tuesday,  and  throws  a  stick  at  him  himself,  in  order  to  prepare 
him  for  the  fatal  day,  by  accustoming  him  to  watch  the  threatened  danger,  and, 
by  springing  aside,  avoid  the  fatal  blow.  He  holds  the  poor  victim  on  the  spot 
marked  out,  by  a  cord  fixed  to  his  leg,  at  the  distance  of  nine  or  ten  yards,  so 
as  to  be  out  of  the  way  of  the  stick  himself.  Another  spot  is  marked,  at  the 
distance  of  twenty-two  yards,  for  the  person  who  throws  to  stand  upon.  lie 
has  three  shys,  or  throws,  for  two  pence,  and  wins  the  Cock  if  he  can  knock 
him  down  and  run  up  and  catch  him  before  the  bird  recovers  his  legs.  The 
inhuman  pastime  does  not  end  with  the  Cock's  life,  for  when  killed  it  is  put  into 
a  hat,  and  won  a  second  time  by  the  person  who  can  strike  it  out.  Broom- 
sticks are  generally  used  to  shy  with.  The  Cock,  if  well  trained,  eludes 
the  blows  of  his  cruel  persecutors  for  a  long  time,  and  thereby  clears  to  his 
master,  a  considerable  sum  of  money.  But  I  fear  lest  by  describing  the 
mode  of  throwing  at  Cocks,  I  should  deserve  the  censure  of  Boerhaave  on 
another  occasion:  "To  teach  the  arts  of  cruelty  is  equivalent  to  committing 
them." 


"  Sports  and  Pastimes."  He  supposes,  p.  293,  that  it  represents  a  boyish  triumph  :  the  hero  of 
the  party  having  either  won  the  Cock,  or  his  bird  escaped  unhurt  from  the  dangers  to  which  he 
had  been  exposed.  The  date  of  the  Illumination  is  not  1433,  as  Mr.  Strutt  mentions,  but  1343. 
See  the  MS.  Bodl.  264. 


C8  SHROVE    TUESDAY. 

In  "  Men-Miracles,  with  other  Poems,  by  M.  Lluellin,  Student  of  Christ- 
Church,  Oxon,"  I2mo.  Lond.  1679,  p.  48,  is  the  following  Song,  in  which  the 
author  seems  ironically  to  satirize  this  cruel  sport : 

« Song.     COCK-THROWING. 

"  Cocke  a  doodle  doe,  'tis  the  bravest  Game, 
Takes  a  Cocke  from  his  Dame, 

And  binds  him  to  a  stake, 
How  he  struts,  how  lie  throwes, 
How  he  swaggers,  how  he  crowes, 

As  if  the  day  newly  brake. 

How  his  Mistress  cackles 
Thus  to  find  him  in  shackles, 

And  tyed  to  a  packe-thread  garter. 
Oh  the  Beares  and  the  Bulls 
Are  but  corpulent  gulls 

To  the  valiant  Shrove-tide  Martyr*." 


i  "  Battering  with  missive  weapons  a  Cock  tied  to  a  stake,  is  an  annual  diversion,"  says  an 
essayist  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  (vol.  vii.  for  Jan.  1737<  p.  6),  "  that  for  time  immemorial 
has  prevailed  in  this  island."  A  Cock  has  the  misfortune  to  be  called  in  Latin  by  the  same  word 
which  signifies  a  Frenchman.  "  In  our  wars  with  France,  in  former  ages,  our  ingenious  fore- 
fathers," says  he,  "  invented  this  emblematical  way  of  expressing  their  derision  of,  and  resentment 
towards  that  nation ;  and  poor  Monsieur  at  the  stake  was  pelted  by  Men  and  Boys  in  a  very 
rough  and  hostile  manner."  He  instances  the  same  thought  at  Blenheim  House,  where,  over  the 
portals,  is  finely  carved  in  stone  the  figure  of  a  monstrous  Lion  tearing  to  pieces  a  harmless  Cock, 
which  may  be  justly  called  a  pun  in  architecture.  "  Considering  the  many  ill  consequences,"  the 
Essayist  goes  on  to  observe,  that  attend  this  sport,  "  I  wonder  it  has  so  long  subsisted  among  us. 
How  many  warm  disputes  and  bloody  quarrels  has  it  occasioned  among  the  surrounding  mob ! 
Numbers  of  arms,  legs,  and  skulls  have  been  broken  by  the  missive  weapons  designed  as  destruc- 
tion to  the  sufferer  in  the  string.  It  is  dangerous  in  some  places  to  pass  the  streets  on  Shrove 
Tuesday;  'tis  risking  life  and  limbs  to  appear  abroad  that  day."  It  "  was  first  introduced  by  way 
of  contempt  to  the  French,  and  to  exasperate  the  minds  of  the  people  against  that  nation."  "Tis 
a  low  mean  expression  of  our  rage  even  in  time  of  war." 

One  part  of  this  extract  is  singularly  corroborated  by  a  passage  in  the  "  Newcastle  Courant,"  for 
March  15th,  1783.  "  Leeds,  March  llth,  1783  :  Tuesday  se'nnight,  being  Shrove-tide,  as  a  person 
was  amusing  himself,  along  with  several  others,  with  the  barbarous  custom  of  throwing  at  a  Cock, 
at  Howden  Clough,  near  Birstal,  the  stick  pitched  upon  the  head  of  Jonathan  Speight,  a  youth 


SHROVE   TUESDAY.  C9 

Cock-throwing  did  not  escape  the  observation  of  Misson,  in  his  "  Memoircs 
et  Observations  en  Angleterre."  At  p.  255,  he  thus  describes  it :  "  Exposer 
un  Coq  dans  une  place  et  tuer  a  la  distance  de  quarante  oa  cinquante  pas, 
avec  un  baton  comme  pour  jetter  aux  noix,  est  encore  une  chose  bien  diver, 
tissante ;  mais  ce  plaisir  n'est  que  d'une  certaine  saison r." 

By  the  following  extract  from  Baron's  Cyprian  Academy,  8vo.  Lond.  1648, 
p.  53,  it  should  seem  to  appear  that  Hens8  also  were  formerly  the  objects  of 

about  thirteen  years  of  age,  and  killed  him  on  the  spot.  The  man  was  committed  to  York 
Castle  on  Friday." 

Another  writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine,  vol.  xxi.  for  Jan.  1751,  p.  8,  says,  "  Some,  yet 
more  brutal,  gratify  their  cruelty  on  that  emblem  of  innocence  the  Dove,  in  the  same  manner,  to 
the  reproach  of  our  countiy  and  the  scandal  of  our  species."  That  Hens  were  thrown  at  as  well  as 
Cocks  appears  from  many  unquestionable  evidences'.  In  the  same  work,  vol.  xix.  for  April  1749, 
is  "  A  strange  and  wonderful  Relation  of  a  Hen  that  spake  at  a  certain  antient  Borough  in  Staf- 
foidshire,  on  the  7th  of  February,  being  Shrove  Tuesday,  with  her  dying  Speech." 

Dean  Tucker  wrote  "  An  earnest  and  affectionate  Address  to  the  Common  People  of  England, 
concerning  their  usual  Recreations  on  Shrove  Tuesday."  London,  pruned  by  J.  Oliver,  in  Bartho- 
lomew Close,  12mo.  no  date ;  consisting  of  ten  pages  only. 

r  See  also  Ozell's  Translation,  p.  307.  In  King  Henry  the  Eighth's  time  it  should  seem  this 
diversion  was  practised  even  within  the  precincts  of  the  Court.  In  a  Royal  Household  Account, 
communicated  by  Craven  Ord,  esq.  1  find  the  following  article : 

"  March  2.  7th  Hen.  VII.  Item  to  Master  Bray  for  rewards  to  them  that  brought  Cokkes  at 
Shrovetide  at  Wes>tmr.  xxs." 

In  the  manuscript  Life  of  Thomas  Lord  Berkeley,  the  fourth  of  that  name,  by  Mr.  Smith,  still 
remaining  at  Berkeley  Castle,  speaking  of  his  recreations  and  delights,  he  tells  the  reader,  "  Hee 
also  would  to  the  threshing  of  the  Cocke,  pucke  with  Hens  blindfolde  and  the  like."  vol.  ii. 
fbl.  459.  This  Lord  was  born  A.  D.  1352,  and  died  in  1417. 

In  the  Hamlet  of  Pinner,  at  Harrow  on  the  Hill,  the  cruel  custom  of  throwing  at  Cocks  was 
formerly  made  a  matter  of  public  celebrity ;  as  appears  by  an  antient  account  of  Receipts  and 
Expenditures.    The  money  collected  at  this  sport  was  applied  in  aid  of  the  Poor-rates. 
".1622.    Received  for  Cocks  at  Shrovetide,    12s.    od. 

1G28.     Received  for  Cocks  in  Towne.  .  . .     19s.  10^.     Out  of  Towne,  fid." 

This  custom  appears  to  have  continued  as  late  as  the  year  1C80.  Lysons's  Environs  of  London, 
vol.  ii.  p.  083. 

•  The  subsequent  passage  in  Bishop  Hall's  Virgidcmiarum,  12mo.  Lond.  1598,  seems  to  implj: 
that  a  Hen  was  a  usual  present  at  Shrove-tide :   as  also  a  pair  of  Gloves  at  Easter. 
"  For  Easter  Gloves,  or  for  a  Shroftide  Hen, 
Which  bought  to  give,  he  takes  to  sell  again." 

Book  iv.  Sat.  5,  p.  42.. 


70  SHROVE    TUESDAY. 

this  barbarous  persecution.  A  clown  is  speaking.  "  By  the  Maskins  I  would 
give  the  best  Cow  in  my  yard  to  find  out  this  Raskall.  And  I  would. THRASH 
him  as  I  did  the  Henne  last  Shrove  Tuesday. ." 

In  Tusser's  Five  Hundred  Points  of  Good  Husbandry,  we  find  the  plough- 
man's feasting  davs,  or  holidays,  thus  enumerated  :  1 .  Plough  Monday.  2. 
Shrove  Tuesday,  when,  after  confession,  he  is  suffered  "  to  thresh  the  fat  Hen" 
3.  Sheep-shearing,  with  wafers  and  cakes.  4.  Wake  Day,  or  the  vigil  of  the 
church  Saint  of  the  village,  with  custards.  5.  Harvest-home,  with  a  fat  goose. 
6.  Seed-cake,  a  festival  kept  at  the  end  of  Wheat-sowing,  when  he  is  to  be 
feasted  with  seed-cakes,  pasties,  and  furmenty  pot  '. 

"At  Shrofticle  to  shroving,   go  thresh  the  fat  Hen, 
If  blindfold  can  kill  her^  then  give  it  thy  men"." 

These  lines,  in  Tusser  Redivivus,  Hvo.  Lond.  ]  744,  p.  80,  are  thus  explained 
in  a  note.  "  The  Hen  is  hung  at  a  fellow's  back,  who  has  also  some  horse- 
bells  about  him,  the  rest  of  the  fellows  are  bunded,  and  have  boughs  in  their 
hands,  with  which  they  chase  this  fellow  and  his  Hen  about  some  large  court 
or  small  enclosure.  The  fellow  with  his  Hen  and  bells  shifting  as  well  as  he 
can,  they  follow  the  sound,  and  sometimes  hit  him  and  his  Hen,  other  times, 
if  he  can  get  behind  one  of  them,  they  thresh  one  another  well  favouredlyj 
but  the  jest  is,  the  maids  are  to  blind  the  fellows,  which  they  do  with  their 
aprons,  and  the  cunning  baggages  will  endear  their  sweethearts  with  a  peeping- 
hole,  while  the  others  look  out  as  sharp  to  hinder  it.  After  this  the  Hen  is 
boiled. with  Bacon,  and  store  of  Pancakes  and  Fritters  are  madew.  She  that 


'  No.  1.  is  peculiar  to  Leicestershire  ;  <2.  to  Essex  and  Suffolk;  3.  to  Northampton;  4.  to 
Leicestershire;  6.  to  Essex  and  Suffolk.  We  learn  further  from  Tusser,  that  Ploughmen  were 
accustomed  to  have  roast  meat  twice  a  Week  ;  viz.  Sundays  and  Thursdays,  at  night.  See  edit. 
1597,  p.  137. 

u  Mr.  Jones  informed  me,  that,  in  Wales,  such  Hens  as  did  not  lay  eggs  before  Shrove  Tuesday 
were,  when.he  was  a  boy,  destined  to  be  threshed  on  that  day  by  a  man  with  a  flail,  as  being  no 
longer  good  for  any  thing.  If  the  man  hit  the  Hen,  and  consequently  killed  her,  he  got  her  for 
liis  pains. 

w  "  A  learned  foreigner  (qu.  if  not  Erasmus  >)  says,  the  English  eat  a  certain  Cake  on  Shrove 
Tuesday,  upon  which  they  immediately  run  mad,  and  kill  tlieir  poor  Cocks.  '  Quoddam  placenta: 


*J  .vi 


SHROVE    TUESDAY.  71 

is  noted  for  lying  a-bed  long,  or  any  other  miscarriage,  hath  the  first  Pancake 
presented  to  her,  which  most  commonly  falls  to  the  dog's  share  at  last,  for  no 
one  will  own  it  their  due."  This  latter  part  of  the  note  is  to  illustrate  the 
following  lines : 

"  Maids,  Fritters  and  Pancakes  ynow  see  ye  make, 

Let  Slut  have  one  Pancake  for  company  sake." 
i' 

ii'UL/1'uf    '"•!••  ic  )    ,.••//•"' 

Heath,  in  his  Account  of  the  Scilly  Islands,  p.  120  &  seq.  has  the  follow- 
ing passage  :  "  On  a  Shrove  Tuesday  each  year,  after  the  throwing  at  Cocks  is 
over,  the  Boys  in  this  Island  have  a  custom  of  throwing  stones  in  the  evening 
against  the  doors  of  the  dwellers'  houses ;  a  privilege  they  claim  time  immemo- 
rial, and  put  in  practice  without  controul,  for  finishing  the  day's  sport.  I  could 
never  learn  from  whence  this  custom  took*ite  rise,  but  am  informed  that  the 
same  custom  is  now  used  in  several  provinces  of  Spain,  as  well  as  in  some  parts 
of  Cornwall.  The  terms  demanded  by  the  Boys  are  Pancakes,  or  Money,  to 
capitulate." 

PANCAKE    CUSTOMS*. 

:'i  II'M.  !'j    ,.i:  iu  •J'i.'jtn  v.l;  ttfri  •  •«.   >..    -i  .  .•    i  ••• 

In  the  North  of  England  Shrove  Tuesday  is  called  vulgarly  "  Fasten's  E'en ;" 
the  succeeding  day  being  Ash-Wednesday,  the  first  day  of  the  Lenten  East. 


gvnus,  quo  comesto,  protinus  insaniunt,  et  Gallon  trucidant.'  As  if  nothing  less  than  some  strong 
infatuation  could  account  for  continuing  so  barbarous  a  custom  among  Christians  and  Cockneys." 
Note  to  "  Veille  a  la  Campagne,  or  the  Siranel,  a  Tale,"  fol.  Lend.  1745,  p.  16. 

*     "  Let  glad  Shrove  Tuesday  bring  the  Pancake  thin, 
Or  Fritter  rich,  with  Apples  stored  within." 

Oxford  Sausage,  p.  22. 

A  writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  for  1790,  p.  256,  says  that  at  Westminster  School, 
upon  Shrove  Tuesday,  the  Under  Clerk  of  the  College  enters  the  School,  and  preceded  by  the 
Beadle  arid  other  Officers,  throws  a  large  Pancake  over  the  Bar,  which  divides  the  upper  from 
the  under  School. 

A  Gentleman  who  was  formerly  one  of  the  Masters  of  that  School  confirmed  the  anecdote  to 
roe,  with  this  alteration,  that  the  Cook  of  the  Seminary  brought  it  into  the  School,  and  threw  it 
over  the  curtain  which  separated  the  forms  of  the  Upper  from  those  of  the  Under  Scholars.  I 
have  heard  of  a  similar  custom  at  Eton  School.  •  •., 

Tlw  manuscript  in  the  British  Museum  before  cited,  "  Status  Schofce  Etonensis,  A.  D.  1560," 
mentions  a  custom  of  that  School  on  Shrove  Tuesday,  of  the  Boys  being  allowed  to  play  from 
eight  o'clock  for  the  whole  day  :  and  of  the  Cook's  coining  and  fastening  a  Pancake  to  a  Crow, 


72  SHROVE    TUESDAY. 

At  Newcastle  upon  Tyne,  the  great  bell  of  St.  Nicholas'  Church  is  tolled  at 
twelve  o'clock  at  noon  on  this  day ;  shops  are  immediately  shut  up,  offices 
closed,  and  all  kind  of  business  ceases :  a  little  Carnival  ensuing  for  the  re- 
maining part  of  the  day?. 


which  the  young  Crows  are  calling  upon,  near  it,  at  the  School-door.  "  Die  Martis  Carnis-privii 
luditur  ad  horam  octavam  in  totuin  diem  :  veuit  Coquus,  affigit  laganuno  Cornici,  juxta  illud 
pullis  Corvorum  invocantibus  eum,  ad  ostium  Scholie."  The  Crows  generally  have  hatched  their 
young  at  this  season. 

"  Most  places  in  England  have  Eggs  and  Collops  (slices  of  Bacon)  on  Shrove-Monday,  Pancakes 
on  Tuesday,  and  Fritters  on  the  Wednesday  in  the  same  week  for  dinner."  Gent.  Mag.  Aug. 
1790.  p.  719.  From  "  The  Westmorland  Dialect"  by  A.  Walker,  Svo.  1790.  it  appears  that 
Cock-fighting  and  casting  Pancakes  are  still  practised  on  Shrove-Tuesday  in  that  county.  Thus 
p.  31.  "  Whaar  ther  wor  tae  be  Cock-feightin,  for  it  war  Pankeak  Tuesday."  And  p.  35.  "  We 
met  sum  Lads  an  Lasses  gangin  to  kest  their  Pankeaks." 

It  appears  from  Middleton's  Masque  of  "  The  World  tossed  at  Tennis,"  which  was  printed  in 
1620,  that  Batter  was  used  on  Shrove-Tuesday  at  that  time,  no  doubt  for  the  purpose  of  making 
Pancakes. 

Shakspeare,  in  the  following  passage,  alludes  to  this  well-known  custom  of  having  Pancakes 
on  Shrove-Tuesday,  in  the  following  string  of  comparisons  put  into  the  mouth  of  the  Clown  in 
"  All's  Well  that  Ends  Well." — "  As  fit — as  Tib's  rush  for  Tim's  fore-finger,  as  a  Pancake  for 
Shrove-Tuesday,  a  Morris  for  May-day,"  &c.  In  Gayton's  Festivous  Notes  upon  Don  Quixote, 
p.  99.  speaking  of  Sancho  Pancha's  having  converted  a  Cassock  into  a  Wallet,  our  pleasant  Anno- 
tator  observes  : '  "  It  were  serviceable  after  this  greasie  use  for  nothing  but  to  preach  at  a  Carni- 
vale  or  Shrove-Tuesday,  and  to  tosse  Pancakes  in  after  the  exercise  :  or  else  (if  it  could  have  been 
conveighed  thither)  nothing  more  proper  for  the  man  that  preaches-  the  Cook's  Sermon  at  Oxford, 
when  that  plump  Society  rides  upon  their  Govcrnours  horses  to  fetch  in  the  Enemic,  the  Flie." 

That  there  was  such  a  custom  at  Oxford,  let  Peshall  in  his  History  of  that  City  be  a  voucher, 
who,  speaking  of  St.  Bartholomew's  Hospital,  p.  280.  says  :  "  To  this  Hospital  Cooks  from  Ox- 
ford flocked,  bringing  in  on  Whitsun-week  the  Fly."  [Aubrey  saw  this  ceremony  performed  in 
1642.  He  adds  :  "  On  Michaelmas  day  they  rode  thither  again  to  convey  the  Fly  away."  Re- 
mains of  Gentilisme  and  Judaisme,  Part  III.  f.  232  b.  MS.  Lansd.  Brit.  Mus.  No.  226.] 

i  "  The  great  bell  which  used  to  be  rung  on  Shrove-Tuesday,  to  call  the  people  together  for 
the  purpose  of  confessing  their  sins,  was  called  Pancake-Sell,  a  name  which  it  still  retains  in  some 
places  where  this  custom  is  still  kept  up."  Gent.  Mag.  179O.  p.  495. 

Macaulay,  in  his  History  and  Antiquities  of  Clay  brook,  in  Leicestershire,  Svo.  Lond,  1791. 
p.  123.  says  :  "  On  Shrove-Tuesday  a  bell  rings  at  noon,  which  is  meant  as  a  signal  for  the  peo- 
ple to  begin  frying  their  Pancakes."  Nichols's  Leicestershire,  vol.  IV.  p.  131. 

In  a  curious  Tract,  entitled,  "A  Vindication  of  the  Letter  out  of  the  North,  concerning  Bishop 
Latoe's  Declaration  of  his  dying  in  the  belief  of  the  Doctrine  of  Passive  Obedience,  &c."  4to.  Lond. 


SHROVE    TUESDAY.  73 

A  kind  of  Pancake  Feast,  preceding  Lent,  was  used  in  the  Greek  Church, 
from  whence  we  may  probably  have  borrowed  it  with  Pasche  Eggs  and  other 

1690.  p.  4.  I  find  the  subsequent  passage.  "  They  have  for  a  long  time  at  York  had  a  custom 
(which  now  challenges  the  priviledge  of  a  prescription)  that  all  the  apprentices,  journeymen, 
and  other  servants  of  the  town,  had  the  liberty  to  go  into  the  Cathedral,  and  ring  the  Pancake- 
bell  (as  we  call  it  in  the  country)  on  Shrove-Tuesday ;  and  that  being  a  time  that  a  great  many 
came  out  of  the  country  to  see  the  city,  (if  not  their  friends,)  and  church ;  to  oblige  the  ordi- 
nary people,  the  Minster  used  to  be  left  open  that  day,  to  let  them  go  up  to  see  the  Lanthorn 
and  Bells,  which  were  sure  to  be  pretty  well  exercised,  and  was  thought  a  more  innocent  diver- 
tbement  than  being  at  the  alehouse.  But  Dr.  Lake,  when  he  came  first  to  reside  there,  was  very 
much  scandalized  at  this  custom,  and  was  resolved  he  would  break  it  at  first  dash,  although  all 
his  brethren  of  the  Clergy  did  dissuade  him  from  it.  He  was  resolved  to  make  the  experiment, 
for  which  he  had  like  to  have  paid  very  dear,  for  1'le  assure  you  it  was  very  near  costing  him  his 
life.  However  he  did  make  such  a  combustion  and  mutiny,  that,  I  dare  say,  York  never  remem- 
bered nor  saw  the  like,  as  many  yet  living  can  testify."  [Dr.  Lake's  zeal  and  courage  on  this  oc- 
casion are  more  minutely  detailed  in  "  A  Defence  of  the  Profession  which  the  right  reverend  Lord 
Bishop  of  Chichester  made  upon  his  Death-bed,  concerning  Passive  Obedience,  and  the  New 
Oaths  :  together  with  an  account  of  some  passages  of  his  Lordship's  life,"  4to.  Loud.  10'90,  p.  4.] 

Taylor,  the  Water  Poet,  in  his  "  Jacke-a-Lent,"  (see  his  Works  in  fol.  1«30.  p.  115.)  gives  the 
following  most  curious  account  of  Shrove-Tuesday. 

"  Shrove-Tuesday,  at  whose  entrance  in  the  morning  all  the  whole  kingdom  is  inquict,  but  by 
that  time  the  clocke  strikes  eleven,  which  (by  the  help  of  a  knavish  sexton)  is  commonly  before 
nine,  then  there  is  a  bell  rung,  cal'd  the  Pancake-bell,  the  sound  whereof  makes  thousands  of 
people  distracted,  and  forgetful  either  of  manners  or  humanitie ;  then  there  is  a  thing  called 
wheaten  floure,  which  the  Cookes  do  mingle  with  water,  egges,  spice,  and  other  tragical,  magicall 
inchantments,  and  then  they  put  it  by  little  and  little  into  a  frying-pan  of  boiling  suet,  where  it 
makes  a  confused  dissmall  hissing,  (like  the  Lernean  Snakes  in  the  reeds  of  Acheron,  Stix,  or 
Phlegeton,)  untill  at  last,  by  the  skill  of  the  Cooke,  it  is  transformed  into  the  forme  of  a  Flip- 
Jack,  cal'd  a  Pancake,  which  ominous  incantation  the  ignorant  people  doe  devoure  very  greedily." 

I  know  not  well  what  he  means  by  the  following :  "  Then  Tim  Tatters,  (a  most  opulent 
villaine,)  with  an  ensigne  made  of  a  piece  of  a  Baker's  mawkin  fix't  upon  a  broome-staffe,  he 
displaies  his  dreadful  colours,  and  calling  the  ragged  regiment  together,  makes  an  illiterate  ora- 
tion, stuff 't  with  most  plentiful  want  of  discretion." 

Selden,  in  p.  20.  of  his  Table-Talk,  under  Christmas,  has  this  passage  relating  to  the  season  : 
"  So  likewise  our  eating  of  fritters,  whipping  of  tops,  roasting  of  herrings,  jack-of-lents,  &c.  they 
are  all  in  imitation  of  church  works,  emblems  of  martyrdom.'" 

Sir  Frederick  Morton  Eden,  Bart,  in  "The  State  of  the  Poor,  &c."  4to.  1797.  vol.  i.  p.  498- 

tells  us :  "  Crowdie,  a.  dish  very  common  in  Scotland,  and  accounted  a  very  great  luxury  by 

labourers,  is  a  never-failing  dinner  in  Scotland  with  all  ranks  of  people  on  Shrove-Tuesday  (as 

Pancakes  are  in  England),  and  was  probably  first  introduced  on  that  day  (in  the  papal  times)  to 

VOL.   I.  L 


74  SHROVE   TUESDAY. 

such  like  ceremonies.  "  The  Russes,  as  Hakluyt  tells  us,  begin  their  Lent 
always  eight  weeks  before  Easter ;  the  first  week  they  eat  eggs,  milk,  cheese, 
and  butter,  and  make  great  cheer  with  Pancakes  and  such  other  things." 

The  custom  of  frying  Pancakes,  (in  turning  of  which  in  the  pan  there  is 
usually  a  good  deal  of  pleasantry  in  the  kitchen,)  is  still  retained  in  many  fami- 
lies of  the  better  sort  throughout  the  kingdom,  but  seems,  if  the  present 
fashionable  contempt  of  old  customs  continues,  not  likely  to  last  another  cen- 
tury. 

The  Apprentices,  whose  particular  Holiday  this  day  is  now  esteemed,  and 
who  are  on  several  accounts  so  much  interested  in  the  observation  thereof, 
ought,  with  that  watchful  jealousy  of  their  ancient  rights  and  liberties,  (typi- 
fied so  happily  on  this  occasion  by  pudding  and  play,)  as  becomes  young 
Englishmen,  to  guard  against  every  infringement  of  .Jts  ceremonies,  so  as  to 
transmit  them  entire  and  unadulterated  to  posterity2. 


Two  or  three  customs  of  less  general  notoriety,  on  Shrove-Tuesday,  remain 
to  be  mentioned. 

strengthen  them  against  the  Lenten  Fast :  it  being  accounted  the  most  substantial  dish  known 
in  that  country.  On  this  day  there  is  always  put  into  the  bason  or  porringer,  out  of  which  the 
unmarried  folks  are  to  eat,  a  ring,  the  finder  of  which,  by  fair  means,  is  supposed  to  be  ominous 
of  the  finder's  being  first  married."  Crowdie  is  inade  by  pouring  boiling  water  over  oat-meal  and 
stirring  it  a  little.  It  is  eaten  with  milk,  or  butter. 

In  Fosbrooke's  British  Monachism,  vol.  ii.  p.  127.  we  read :  "  At  Barking  Nunnery,  the  annual 
store  of  provision  consisted  of  malt,  wheat,  russeaulx,  herrings  for  Advent,  red  ones  for  Lent ; 
almonds,  salt  fish,  salt  salmones,  figs,  raisins,  ryce,  all  for  Lent ;  mustard;  two-pence  for  cripsis 
(some  crisp  thing)  and  crum-cakes  [cruman  isfriare.  Skinn.]  at  Shrove-tide. 

Dr.  Goldsmith,  in  his  Vicar  of  Wakefield,  describing  the  manners  of  some  rustics,  tells  us,  that 
among  other  old  customs  which  they  retained,  "  they  eat  Pancakes  on  Shrove-tide."  Poor  Robin 
in  his  Almanack  for  1677-  in  his  Observation  on  February  says,  there  will  be  *'  a  full  sea  of  Pan- 
cakes and  Fritters  about  the  26th  and  27th  days,"  z.  e.  Shrove-Tuesday  fell  on  the  27th — with 
these  lines, 

"  Pancakes  are  eat  by  greedy  gut, 
And  Hob  and  Madge  run  for  the  slut." 

»  In  Dekker's  "  Seven  Deadly  Sinnes  of  London,"  4to.  1606.  p.  35.  is  this  passage :  "  They 
presently  (like  Prentises  upon  Shrove-Tuesday)  take  the  lawe  into  their  owne  handes  and  do  what 
they  list."  And  it  appears  from  contemporary  writers  that  this  day  was  a  holiday,  time  imme- 
morial, for  apprentices  and  working  people.  See  Dodsley's  Old  Plays,  vol.  vi.  p.  387.  vii.  p.  22. 
and  xii.  p.  403. 


SHROVE    TUESDAY.  75 

It  is  remarked  with  much  probability  in  a  Note  upon  the  old  Play  of  "  The 
Honest  Whore"  by  Dekker,  that  it  was  formerly  a  custom  for  the  Peace-officers 
to  make  search  after  women  of  ill-fame  on  Shrove-Tuesday,  and  to  confine 
them  during  the  season  of  Lent.  So,  Sensuality  says  in  Microcosmus,  Act  5. 

"  Bat  now  welcome  a  Cart  or  a  Shrove-Tiicsday' s  tragedy*  " 

Several  curious  particulars  concerning  the  old  manner  of  carting  people  of 
this  description a,  may  be  gathered  from  the  second  Part  of  "  The  Honest 
Whore,"  4to.  Lond.  1630.  Signat.  L.  b.  &  seq. 

"  Enter  the  two  Masters— after  them  the  Constable,  after  them  a  Beadle 
beating  a  bason,  &c." — Mistris  Ilorsleach  says  : 

"You  doe  me  wrong-^-I  am  knowne  for  a  motherly  honest  woman,  and 
no  bawd/' — To  an  enqujry,  "  Why  before  her  does  the  Bason  ring :''  it  is  thus 
answered  : 

"  It  is  an  emblem  of  their  revelling; 
The  whips  we  use  lets  forth  their  wanton  blood, 
Making  them  calme,  and  more  to  calme  their  pride, 
Instead  of  Coaches  they  in  Carts  doe  ride." 

Ibid.  Signat.  I.  2. — "  Enter  Constable  and  Billmen. 

"  How  now  ? 

I'st  Shrove-Tuesday,  that  these  Ghosts  walke  ?" 

In  Nabbe's  Comedy  intituled  "  Totenham  Court."  4to.  Lond.  1638.  p.  6.  the 
following  occurs  : — "  If  I  doe,  I  have  lesse  mercy  then  Prentices  at  Shrove- 
tide:' 


*  In  Strype'a  Edition  of  Stow 's  Survey  of  London,  fol.  Lond.  1720.  Book  i.  p.  258.  we  read  that 
in  the  year  1555,  "  An  ill  woman,  who  kept  the  Greyhound  in  Westminster,  was  carted  about  the 
city,  and  the  Abbot's  servant  (bearing  her  good  will)  took  her  out  of  the  cart,  as  it  seems,  before 
she  had  finish  t  her  punishment,  who  was  presently  whipt  at  the  same  cart's  tail  for  his  pains." 

In  1556,  "  were  carted  two  men  and  three  women.  One  of  these  men  was  a  bawd,  for  bring- 
ing women  to  strangers.  One  of  the  women  kept  the  Bell  in  Gracechurch-street,  another  was 
the  good  wife  of  the  Bull  beside  London-stone  :  both  bawds  and  whores." 

1559.  "  The  wife  of  Henry  Glyn,  goldsmith,  was  carted  about  London,  for  being  bawd  to  her 
own  daughter."  •  •  '••  • 


76'  SHKOVE   TUESDAY. 

The  punishment  of  people  of  evil  fame  at  this  season  seems  to  have  been  one 
of  the  chief  sports  of  the  Apprentices5.  In  a  Satyre  against  Separatists,  4to. 
Lond.  1675.  we  read, 


The  Premises  —  for  they 


Who,  if  upon  Shrove-  Tue  sday,  or  May  -Day, 

Beat  an  old  Bawd  or  fright  poor  Whores  they  could  c, 

Thought  themselves  greater  than  their  Founder  Lud, 

Have  now  vast  thoughts,   and  scorn  to  set  upon 

Any  Whore  less  than  her  of  Babylon. 

They'r  mounted  high,  contemn  the  humble  play 

Of  Trap  or  foot-bull  on  a  Holiday 

In  Finesbury-fieldes.     No,  'tis  their  brave  intent, 

Wisely  t'advise  the  King  and  Parliament." 

The  allusion  of  this  passage,  though  published  later,  is  evidently  to  the  period 
of  the  great  Rebellion. 

The  use  of  the  game  of  Foot-ball  on  this  day  has  been  already  noticed  from 
Fitzstephen's  London. 

In  the  Statistical  Account  of  Scotland,  vol.  xvi.  p.  19.  (8vo.  Edinb.  1795  ) 
Parish  of  Inverness,  County  of  Mid-Lothian,  we  read:  "  On  Shrove-Tuesday 
there  is  a  standing  match  at  Foot-ball  between  the  married  and  unmarried 
women,  in  which  the  former  are  always  victors'1." 

k  Sir  Thomas  Overbury  in  his  Characters,  speaking  of  "  a  Maquereia,  in  plaine  English  a 
bawde,"  says  :  "  Nothing  daunts  her  so  much  as  the  approach  of  Shrove-Tuesday."  Ibid.  Speak- 
ing of  "  a  roaring  boy/'  he  observes,  that  "  he  is  a  supervisor  of  brothels,  and  in  them  is  a  more 
unlawful  reformer  of  vice  than  prentices  on  Shrove-Tuesday." 

«  In  Dekker's  Play  of  "  Match  Me  in  London,"  Bilbo  says  :  "  I'll  beate  down  the  doore,  and 
put  him  in  mind  of  Shrove-Tuesday,  the  fatall  day  for  doores  to  be  broke  open."  ••'•  =.  " 

d  With  regard  to  the  custom  of  playing  at  Foot-ball  on  Shrove-Tuesday,  I  was  informed,  that 
at  Alnwick  Castle,  in  Northumberland,  the  waits  belonging  to  the  town  come  playing  to  the 
Castle  every  year  on  Shrove-Tuesday,  at  two  o'clock  p.  m.  when  a  foot-ball  was  thrown  over  the 
Castle-walls  to  the  populace.  I  saw  this  done  Feb.  5th,  1788. 

In  King's  Vale  Royal  of  England,  p.  194.  there  is  an  account,  that,  at  the  City  of  Chester  in  the 
year  1533,  "  the  Offering  of  ball  and  foot-balls  were  put  down,  and  the  silver  bell  offered  to  the 
Maior  on  Shrove-Tuesday." 


SHROVE   TUESDAY.  77 

In  the  same  Work,  vol.  xviii.  p.  88.  8vo.  Edinb.  1795,  Parish  of  Scone, 
County  of  Perlh,  we  read  :  "  Every  year  on  Shrove-Tuesday  the  batchelors  and 
married  men  drew  themselves  up  at  the  Cross  of  Scone,  on  opposite  sides.  -A 
ball  was  then  thrown  up,  and  they  played  from  two  o'clock  till  sun-set.  The 
game  was  this.  He  who  at  any  time  got  the  ball  into  his  hands,  run -with  it 
till  overtaken  by  one  of  the  opposite  party,  and  then,  if  he  could  shake  him- 
self loose  from  those  on  the  opposite  side  who  seized  him,  he  run  on  :  if  not, 
he  threw  the  ball  from  him,  unless  it  was  wrested  from  him  by  the  other  party; 
but  no  person  was  allowed  to  kick  it.  The  object  of  the  married  men  was  to 
hang  it,  i.  e.  to  put  it  three  times  into  a  small  hole  in  the  moor,  the  dool  or 
limit  on  the  one  hand  :  that  of  the  batchelors  was  to  drown  it,  i.  e.  to  dip  it 
three  times  into  a  deep  place  in  the  river,  the  limit  on  the  other.  The  party 
who  could  effect  either  of  these  objects  won  the  game.  But,  if  neither  party 
won,  the  ball  was  cut  into  equal  parts  at  sun-set.  In  the  course  of  the  play 
one  might  always  see  some  scene  of  violence  between  the  parties :  but  as  the 
proverb  of  this  part  of  the  country  expresses  it,  '  All  was  fair  at  the  Ball  of 
Scone.' 

"  This  custom  is  supposed  to  have  had  its  origin  in  the  days  of  Chivalry. 
An  Italian,  it  is  said,  came  into  this  part  of  the  country,  challenging  all  the 
parishes,  under  a  certain  penalty  in  case  of  declining  his  challenge.  All  the 
parishes  declined  the  challenge  except  Scone,  which  beat  the  foreigner,  and  in 
commemoration  of  this  gallant  action  the  game  was  instituted. 

Whilst  the  custom  continued,  every  man  in  the  parish,  the  gentry  riot  excepted, 
was  obliged  to  turn  out  and  support  the  side  to  which  he  belonged  ;  and  the  per- 
son who  neglected  to  do  his  part  on  that  occasion  was  fined  :  but  the  custom 
being  attended  with  certain  inconveniencies,  was  abolished  a  few  years  ago." 

In  Pennant's  Account  of  the  city  of  Chester,  he  tells  us  of  a  place  without 
the  walls  called  the  Rood  Eye,  where  the  lusty  youth  in  former  days  exercised 
themselves  in  manly  sports  of  the  age ;  in  archery,  running,  leaping,  and 
wrestling;  in  mock  fights  and  gallant  and  romantic  triumphs.  A  standard  was 
the  prize  of  emulation,  in  the  sports  celebrated  on  the  Rood  Eye,  which  was 
won  in  1578  by  Sheriff  Montford  on  Shrove-Tuesday'. 

X 

«  Tour  in  Wales,  edit.  4to.  1778.  pp.  190, 191, 192,  See  also  King's  Vale  Royal  of  England,  p.  201. 


78  SHROVE   TUESDAY. 

In  "  the  Shepherd's  Almanack"  for.  1676,  under  February,  we  find  the  fol- 
lowing remarks  :  "  Some  say,  Thunder  on  Shrove-Tuesday  foretelleth  wind, 
store  of  fruit,  and  plenty.  Others  affirm,  that  so  much  as  the  sun  shineth  that 
day,  the  like  will  shine  every  day  in  Lent." 

I  shall  close  this  Account  of  the  Customs  of  Shrove-Tuesday  with  a  curious 
Poem  from  Pasquil's  Palinodia,  4to.  Lond.  l634f.  It  contains  a  minute  de- 
scription of  all  that  appears  to  have  been  generally  practised  in  England  s.  The 
beating  down  the  Barber's  basons  on  that  day,  I  have  not  found  elsewhere. 

"  It  was  the  day  of  all  dayes  in  the  yeare, 

That  unto  Bacchus  hath  his  dedication, 
When  mad-bra  n'd  Prentices,  that  no  men  feare, 

O'erthrow  the  dens  of  l»a»vdie  recreation  ; 
When  taylors,   coblers,  plaist'rers,  smiths,  and  masons, 
And  every  rogue  will  beat  down  Barbers'  basons, 
Whereat  Don  Constable  in  wrath  appeares, 
Arid  runs  away  with  his  stout  hatbadiers. 

"  It  was  the  day  whereon  both  rich  and  poore 

Are  chiefly  feasted  with  the  self-same  dish, 
When  every  paunch,  till  it  can  hold  no  more, 

Is  fritter-h'U'd,  as  well  as  heart  can  wish  ; 
And  every  man  and  maide  doe  take  their  turne, 
And  tosse  their  pancakes  up  for  feare  they  burnt-, 
And  all  the  kitchen  doth  with  laughter  sound, 
To  see  the  pancakes  fall  upon  the  ground. 

"  It  was  the  day  when  every  kitchen  reekes, 

And   hungry  bellies  keepe  a  Jubile, 
When   flesh  doth   bid  adieu   for  divers  weekes, 

And  leaves  old  ling  to  be  his  deputic. 


1  Signal.  D.  b. 

C  From  Lavaterus  on  Walking  Spirits,  p.  51,  it  should  seem  that,  anciently,  in  Helvetia,  fires 
were  lighted  up  at  Shrove-tide.  "  And  as  the  young  men  in  Helvetia,  who  with  their  tire-biand, 
which  they  light  at  the  bonehres  at  Shrof-tide,"  &c. 

Mr.  Douce's  Manuscript  Notes  say  :  "  Among  the  Finns  no  five  or  candle  may  be  kindled  on 
the  Eve  of  Shrove-Tuesday." 


SHROVE    TUESDAr.  79 

;.fj<j       "  It  was  the  day  when  Pullen  goe  to  block, 

And  every  spit  is  fill'd  with  belly  timber, 
When  cocks  are  cudgel'U  down  with  many  a  knock, 

And  hens  are  thrasht  to  make  them  short  and  tender; 
When  country  wenches  play  with  stoole  and  ball,  _•     ; 

And  run  at  barly-breake  untill  they  fall." 


ASH  WEDNESDAY* 

THIS,  which  is  the  first  day  of  Lentb,  is  called  Ash- Wednesday,  as  we 
read  in  the  Festa  Anglo-Romana,  p.  19,  from  the  antient  ceremony  of  blessing 
Ashes  on  that  day,  and  therewith  the  Priest  signeth  the  people  on  the  forehead" 

»  See  Wheatley's  Illustr.  of  the  Book  of  Com.  Prayer,  8vo.  Lond.  1741,  p.  225. 

b  Durandus,  in  his  Rationale,  tells  us,  Lent  was  counted  to  begin  on  that  which  is  now  the 
first  Sunday  in  Lent,  and  to  end  on  Easter  Eve;  which  time,  saith  he,  containing  forty-two  days, 
if  you  take  out  of  them  the  six  Sundays  (on  which  it  was  counted  not  lawful  at  any  time  of  the 
year  to  fast),  then  there  will  remain  only  thirty-six  days  :  and,  therefore,  that  the  number  of  days 
which  Christ  fasted  might  be  perfected,  Pope  Gregory  added  to  Lent  four  days  of  the  week  before 
going,  viz.  that  which  we  now  call  Ash-Wednesday,  and  the  three  days  following  it.  So  that  we 
see  the  first  observation  of  Lent  began  from  a  superstitious,  unwarrantable,  and  indeed  prophane 
conceit  of  imitating  our  Saviour's  miraculous  abstinence.  Weekly  Pacquet  of  Advice  from  Rome, 
vol.  i.  p.  186. 

Lent  is  so  called  from  the  time  of  the  year  wherein  it  is  observed  :  Lent  in  the  Saxon  language 
signifying  Spring,  being  now  used  to  signify  the  Spring-Fast,  which  ahvays  begins  so  that  it  may 
end  at  Easter  to  remind  us  of  our  Saviour's  sufferings,  which  ended  at  his  Resurrection.  Wheatley 
on  the  Common  Prayer,  edit.  8vo.  Lond.  1741,  p.  224. 

Ash-Wednesday  is  in  some  places  called  "  Pulver  Wednesday,"  that  is  Dies  pulveris.  The  word 
Lentron,  for  Lent,  occurs  more  than  once  in  the  edition  of  the  Regiam  Majestatem,  4to.  Ediub. 
1774;  after  that  of  1609,  [Len^ten-tibe  for  Spring,  when  the  days  lengthen,  occurs  in  the  Saxon 
Heptateuch,  8vo.  Oxon.  1698.  Exod.  xxxiv.  18.] 

There  is  a  curious  clause  in  one  of  the  Romish  Casuists  concerning  the  keeping  of  Lent ;  it  is, 
"  that  Beggars  which  are  ready  to  affamish  for  want,  may  in  Lent  time  eat  what  they  can  get" 
See  Bishop  Hall's  Triumphs  of  Rome,  p.  123. 

c  Cinere  quia  se  conspergunt  in  poenitentia  ludaei,  Gregor.  Mag.  statuit,  ut  in  Quadragesima 
ante  initium  Missae  Cineres  consecrentur,  quibus  populus  aspergebatur,  &  diem  huic  rei  sacrum 


80  ASH   WEDNESDAY. 

in  the  form  of  a  Cross;  affording  them  withal  this  wholesome  admonition : 
"  Memento,  homo,  quod  pulvis  es,  et  in  pulverem  reverteris."  Remember, 
man,  tliou  art  dust,  and  shalt  return  to  dust.  The  ashes  used  this  day  in  the 
Church  of  Rom<?,  are  made  x>f  the  palms  consecrated  the  Sunday  twelve  months 
before  d.  In  a  Convocation  held  in  the  time  of  Henry  the  Eighth,  mentioned 


dat,  in  quo  cuncti  generatim  mortales  characterem  cinereum  in  fronte  accipiant."     Moresini  Pa- 
patus,  p.  37. 

d  Or  rather,  "  The  Ashes  which  they  use  this  day,  are  made  of  the  Palmes  blessed  the  Palm- 
Sunday  before."  See  New  Helpe  to  Discourse,  12mo.  Lond.  1684.  3d.  edit.  p.  319. 

In  the  Festyvall,  fol.  1511.  fol.  15.  it  is  said  :  "  Ye  shall  begyn  your  faste  upon  Ashe  Wedaes- 
daye.  That  daye  must  ye  come  to  holy  chirche  and  take  ashes  of  the  Preestes  hondes  and  thynke 
on  the  wordes  well  that  he  sayeth  over  your  hedes,  ("Memento,  homo,  quid  cinis  es ;  et  in  cinerem 
reverterisj,  have  mynde,  thou  man,  of  asshes  thou  art  comen,  and  to  ashes  thou  shalte  tourne 
agaync."  This  "  Festyvall,"  speaking  of  Quatuor  Temporum,  or  Ymbre  Days,  now  called  Ember 
Days,  fol.  41,  b.  says  they  were  so  called,  "  bycausc  that  our  elder  fathers  wolde  on  these  dayes 
ete  no  brede  but  cakes  made  under  ashes." 

In  an  original  Proclamation,  black  letter,  dated  26th  Feb.  30  Henry  VIII.  remaining  in  vol.  i., 
of  "  Proclamations,"  &c.  in  the  Archives  of  the  Society  of  Antiquaries  of  London,  p,  138,  con- 
cerning Rites  and  Ceremonies  to  be  retained  in  the  Church  of  England,  we  read  as  follows  :  "  On 
Ashe  Wenisday  it  shall  be  declared,  that  these  ashes  be  gyven,  to  put  every  Christen  man  in 
remembraunce  of  penaunce  at  the  begynnynge  of  Lent,  and  that  he  is  but  erthe  and  ashes." 

Howe's  edition  of  Stow's  Annals,  p.  595,  states,  sub  anno  1547-S,  "  The  Wednesday  following, 
commonly  called  Ash- Wednesday,  the  use  of  giving  ashes  in  the  Church  was  also  left"  "throughout 
the  whole  Citie  of  London." 

"  Mannerlye  to  take  theyr  ashes  devoutly,"  is  among  the  Roman  Catholic  customs  censured  by 
John  Bale  in  his  "  Declaration  of  Bonner's  Articles,"  1554,  signat.  D.  4.  b.  as  is,  ibid.  D.  2.  b. 
"  to  conjure  ashes." 

In  "  the  Doctrine  of  the  Masse  Booke,"  &c.  from  Wyttonburge,  by  Nicholas  Dorcastor,  1554, 
8vo.  signal.  B.  3.  b.  we  find  translated  the  form  of  "  The  halowing  of  the  ashes."  The  Masse 
Book  saith,  that  upon  Ash-Wedensdaye,  when  the  Prieste  hath  absolved  the  people,  &c.  then 
must  there  be  made  a  blessyngc  of  the  ashes,  by  the  Priest,  being  turned  towards  the  East.  In 
the  first  prayer  is  this  passage  :  "  Vouchsafe  to  >%>.  blesse  and  ^  sanctifie  these  ashes,  which 
because  of  humilitie  and  of  holy  religion  for  the  clensyng  out  of  our  trespaces,  thou  hast  appoint- 
ed us  to  cary  upon  our  heades  after  the  manner  of  the  Ninivites."  And  after  directions  to  sprinkle 
the  Ashes  with  holy  water,  and  another  prayer,  this  Kubrick  is  added  :  "  Then  let  them  distribute 
the  ashes  upon  the  heades  of  the  Clarckes  and  of  the  lay  people  :  the  worthier  persons  makyng 
a  sygne  of  the  Croase  with  the  ashes,  saying  thus :  Memento,  homo,  quod  cinis,  &c.  Remember, 
man,  that  thou  art  ashes,  and  into  ashes  shalt  thou  retourne." 


ASH    WEDNESDAY.  81 

in  Fuller's  Church  History,  p.  222,  "  Giving  of  ashes  on  Ash-Wednesday,  to 
put  in  remembrance  every  Christian  man  in  the  beginning  of  Lent  and  Peaance, 
that  he  is  but  ashes  and  earth,  and  thereto  shall  return,"  &c.  is  reserved  with 
some  other  rites  and  ceremonies,  which  survived  the  shock  that  at  that  remark- 
able aera  almost  overthrew  the  whole  pile  of  Catholic  superstitions. 

From  the  following  passage  cited  by  Hospinian6,  it  appears,  that  antiently, 
after  the  solemn  service  and  sprinkling  with  ashes  on  Ash- Wednesday,  the  peo- 
ple used  to  repeat  the  fooleries  of  the  Carnival.  "  Qua  de  re  ita  canit  Naoge- 
orgus,  lib.  4.  Regni  papistic! : 

"  Nullus  stultitiae  tanieir  est,  nullusque  furoris 

•^[•1  n  •   .."•'  u  •;.   ••       T-T'<  •>;i-j3::  h?rA 

Terminus :  intermissa  instaurant  prandia  laeti. 

1    ••     . .         .  .        -r        •       ',^-Ti  •'  ;o  -vfj;  y.-.-.\  -" 

Et  ludos  repetunt,  et  larvas  nocte  repostas. 

'  .    ;'i  rr:'       in      i  fj    *    ...    • 

Sunt  qui  laterna  mwsti,  dum  luinnia  Titan 

Praebet  rnundo,  exacta  here  Bacchanalia  quasrant, 

•1  vz. IT  finvoi  tjl'ytr*ii  //t'A 
£t  clamant  passim :  Quo  Bacchanalia  nobis 

'  'I?}'    "*  .  »  fi'.:'"".l'!;  i'.-i\A 

Auffugere  ?  eheu,  veniunt  iciuuia  dira. 

Suspendunt  alii,  portantque  in  pertica  halecem, 

Clamantes  :  ultra  imn  farcimina,  haleces. 

Adjunguntque  suos  ludos,  &  carmina  risu 

Digna,  &  prseterea  quicquid  confingere  possunt 

§tultum  ac  insipidum,  moveant  ut  ubique  cachinnos. 

Mutuo  se  capiunt  alii,  ac  in  ilumina  portant 

Contis  impositos,  ut  festi  quicquid  inluesit 

Stulti,  tollatur  mersum  fluvialibus  undis. 

Alliciunt  alii  pueros  nucibusque  pyrisque 

Canticaque  iis  prseeunt,   &  tota  per  oppida  cantant."  &c. 

Then  follows  "  The  Fool-Plough,"  for  which  the  Reader  is  referred  to  the 
Sports  of  Christmass.  The  whole  passage  from  Naogeorgus,  is  thus  translated 
by  Barnaby  Googe : 

In  Bp.  Bonner's  Injunctions,  1555,  4to.  signal.  A.  1.  b.  we  read,  "  that  the  hallowed  ashes 
gyven  by  the  Priest  to  the  people  upon  Ashe  Wednisclaye,  is  to  put  the  people  in  remembrance  of 
penance  at  the  begynnynge  of  Lent,  and  that  their  bodies  ar  but  earth,  dust,  and  ashes." 

Dudley  Lord  North,  in  his  Forest  of  Varieties,  fol.  Lond.  1645,  p.  165:  in  allusion  to  thit 
custom,  styles  one  of  his  Essays,  "  My  Ashewednesday  Ashes."  ' '«' '' 

<DeOrig.Fest.Dter.  Christian,  fol.  47  b. 

,*  .•«;*)) 
VOL.  I.  M 


g<3  ASH    WEDNESDAY. 

«  The  Wednesday  next  a  solemne  day,  to  Church  they  early  go, 
'.irwj'o  sponge  out  all  the  foolish  deedes  by  them  committed  so, 

They  money  give,  and  on  their  heddes  the  Prieste  doth  ashes  laye, 

And  with  his  holy  water  washeth  all  their  sinnea  away  : 

In  woondrous  sort  against  the  veniall  sinnes  doth  profile  this, 

Yet  here  no  stay  of  madnesse  now,  nor  ende  of  follie  is, 

With  mirth  to  dinner  straight  they  go,  and  to  their  woonted  play, 

And  on  their  deuills  shapes  they  put,  and  sprightish  fonde  araye. 

Some  sort  there  are  that  mourning  go,  with  lantarnes  in  their  hande, 

While  in  the  day  time  Titan  bright,  amid  the  skies  doth  stande : 

And  seeke  their  Shroftide  Bachanals,  still  crying  every  where, 

Where  are  our  feastes  become  ?  alas  the  cruell  fastes  appere. 

Some  beare  about  a  herring  on  a  staflfe,  and  lowde  doe  rore, 

Herrings,  herrings,  stincking  herrings,  puddings  now  no  more. 

And  hereto  joyne  they  foolish  playes,  and  doltish  dogrell  rimes, 

And  what  beside  they  can  invent,  belonging  to  the  times. 

Some  others  beare  upon  a  staflfe  their  fellowes  horsed  hie, 

And  cane  them  unto  some  ponde,  or  running  river  nie, 

That  what  so  of  their  foolish  feast,  doth  in  them  yet  remayne, 

May  underneth  the  floud  be  plungde,  and  wash't  away  againe. 

Some  children  doe  intise  with  nuttes,  and  peares  abrode  to  play, 

And  singing  through  the  tovvne  they  go,  before  them  all  the  way. 

In  some  places  all  the  youthful  flocke,  with  minstrels  doe  repaire, 

And  out  of  every  house  they  plucke  the  girles,  and  maydens  fayre, 

And  them  to  plough  they  straightways  put,  with  whip  one  doth  them  hit, 

Another  holds  the  plough  in  hande ;  the  Minstrell  here  doth  sit 

Amidde  the  same,  and  drounken  songes  with  gaping  mouth,  he  sings, 

Whome  foloweth  one  that  sowes  out  sande,  or  ashes  fondly  flings. 

When  thus  they  through  the  streetes  have  plaide,  the  man  that  guideth  all, 

Doth  drive  both  plough  and  maydens  through  some  ponde  or  river  small  : 

And  dabbled  all  with  clurt,  and  wringing  wette  as  they  may  bee, 

To  supper  calles,  and  after  that  to  daunsing  lustilee  f. 

'  There  is  a  strange  custom  used  in  many  places  of  Germany  upon  Ash  Wednesday,  for  then 
the  young  Youth  get  all  the  Maides  together,  which  have  practised  dauncing  all  the  year  before, 
and  carrying  them  in  a  carte  or  tumbrell  (which  they  draw  themselves  instead  of  horses),  and  a 
minstrell  standing  a  top  of  it  playing  all  the  way,  they  draw  them  into  some  lake  or  river,  and 
there  wash  them  well  favouredly."  Translation  of  J.  B.  Aubanus,  4to.  p.  279. 

' 


ASH    WEDNESDAY. 

The  follie  that  these  dayes  is  usde,  can  no  man  well  declare,j)Oo« 
Their  wanton  pastimes,  wicked  actes,  and  all  their  franticke  fare. 
On  Sunday  at  the  length  they  leave  their  mad  and  foolish  game, 
And  yet  not  so,  but  that  they  drinke,  and  dice  away  the  same. 

Thus  at  the  last  to  Bacchus  is  this  day  appoynted  cleare, 

J    "  J  '-IT  >  rwnl  •>•»>!»  u^Jouii 

Then  (O  poor  wretches  !)  fastings  long  approaching  doe  appeare  : 

In  fourtie  dayes  they  neyther  milke,  nor  fleshe,  nor  egges  doe  eate, 

And  butter  with  their  lippes  to  touch,  is  thought  a  trespasse  great  : 

Both  ling  and  saltfish  they  devoure,  and  fishe  of  every  sorte, 

Whose  purse  is  full,  and  such  as  live  in  great  and  welthie  porte  : 

But  onyans,  browne  bread,  leekes  and  salt,  must  poore  men  dayly  gnaw 

And  fry  their  oten  cakes  in  oyle.     The  Pope  devisde  this  law 

For  sinnes,  th'  offending  people  here  from  hell  and  death  to  pull, 

Beleeuing  not  that  all  their  sinnes  were  earst  forgiven  full. 

Yet  here  these  wofull  soules  he  helpes,  and  taking  money  fast, 

Doth  all  things  set  at  libertie,  both  egges  and  flesh  at  last. 

The  images  and  pictures  now  are  coverde  secretlie, 

In  every  Church,  and  from  the  beames,  the  roof  and  rafters  hie, 

Hanges  painted  linnen  clothes  that  to  the  people  doth  declare, 

The  wrathe  and  furie  great  of  God,  and  times  that  fasted  are. 

Then  all  men  are  constrainde  their  sinnes,  by  cruel  law,  to  tell, 

And  threattied  if  they  hide  but  one,  with  dredfull  death  and  hell. 

From  hence  no  little  gaines  vnto  the  Priestes  doth  still  arise, 

And  of  the  Pope  the  shambles  doth  appeare  in  beastly  wise  s. 

The  antient  discipline  of  sackcloth  and  ashes,  on  Ash-Wednesday,  is  at  pre- 
sent supplied  in  our  Churchh  by  reading  publicly  on  this  day  the  curses  de- 
nounced against  impenitent  sinners,  when  the  people  are  directed  to  repeat  an 
Amen  at  the  end  of  each  malediction.  Enlightened  as  we  think  ourselves  at 
this  day,  there  are  many  who  consider  the  general  avowal  of  the  justice  of 
God's  wrath  against  impenitent  sinners  as  cursing  their  neighbours  :  conse- 

»  "  The  Popish  Kingdome,"  fol.  49.  49  b. 


h  In  the  Churchwarden's  Account  of  St.  Mary  at  Hill,  in  the  City  of  London,  A.  D.  1492.  Close 

and  Howting,  is  the  following  article  : 

•  '•••'        •  ° 


•  '•••'        •  °  [o;.v.  '  .  ./IIT,  Mjirtm  irasKnooriawn 

•<Fordys3PlyingRoddyS,  y«." 

Ibid.  1  501  .     "For  paintynge  the  Crosse  Staffe  for  Lent,  iuj*." 


gij,  ASH 

quently,  like  good  Christians,  they  keep  away  from  Church  on  the  occasion.    A 

folly  and  superstition  worthy  of  the  after-midnight,  the  spirit-walking  time  of 

,  i  ,i;  vrr.'il  i  oib  .t!'.jnol  ad)  Je  vnLti,:r: 

Popery. 

It  appears  from  a  curious  account  of  Eton  School,  of  the  date  of  156O,  already 
quoted  more  than  once,  that  at  that  time,  it  was  the  custom  of  the  Scholars  of 
that  Seminary  to  choose  themselves  Confessors  out  of  the  Masters  or  Chaplains, 
to  whom  they  were  to  confess  their  sins '. 

"  To  keep  a  true  Lent. 

"  Is  this  a  Fast,  to  keep 

The  Larder  leane, 

And  cleane, 
From  fat  of  veales  and  sheep  ? 

Is  it  to  quit  the  dish 

Of  flesh,  yet  still 

To  fill 
The  platter  high  with  fish? 

Is  it  to  faste  an  houre, 

Or  rag'd  to  go, 

Or  show 
A  down-cast  look  and  sowre  ? 

No ;  'tis  a  Fast  to  dole 

Thy  sheaf  of  wheat, 

And  meat, 
Unto  the  hungry  soule. 

It  is  to  fast  from  strife, 

From  old  debate, 

And  hate; 
To  circumcise  thy  life. 

"  Cinerico  die  et  Templum  (iter)  li  pueris  circiter  horam  decimam :  tempore  sacri  peragendi 
deligant  sibi  turn  Collegiani  turn  Oppidani  ex  Magistris  vel  sacellanis  spectatae  integritatis  sacer- 
dot'es,  quibus  Arcana  pectoris  credant ;  et  quod  erranti  salutaris  sit  medicina  Confessio,  ad  Domini 
misericordiam  confugiant.  Puerorum  Nomina  Censores  Templi  inscripta  tabulis  confessionariia 
tradunt.  Intra  quatuor  dies  proxime  sequentes  peccatomm  Confessione  peccata  expiant."  Statu* 
Schoke  Etoneasis.  MS.  Brit,  Mus.  Donat.  4843,  fol.  425. 


ASH    WEDNESDAY.  85 

To  show  a  heart  grief-rent 

To  starve  thy  sin, 

Not  bin  ; 
And  that's  to  keep  thy  Lent." 

Herrick's  Noble  Numbers,  p.  65. 


For  several  curious  customs  or  ceremonies  observed  abroad  during  the  three 
first  days  of  the  Quinquagesima  Week  k,  see  Hospinian  de  Origine  Festorum 
Christianorum,  fol.  45,  b. 

At  Dijon,  in  Burgundy,  it  is  the  custom  upon  the  first  Sunday  in  Lent  to 
make  large  fires  in  the  streets,  whence  it  is  called  Firebrand  Sunday.  This 
practice  originated  in  the  processions  formerly  made  on  that  day  by  the  peasants 
with  lighted  torches  of  straw,  to  drive  away,  as  they  called  it,  the  bad  air  from 
the  earth1. 


k  A  Jack-o'-Lent  was  a  puppet,  formerly  thrown  at,  in  our  ownc  ountry,  in  Lent,  like  Shrove- 
Cocks.  So  in  "The  Weakest  goes  to  the  Wall,"  1600,  "  A  mere  Anatomy,  a  Jack  of  Lent." 
Again,  in  "  The  Four  Prentices  of  London,"  1615.  "  Now  you  old  Jack  of  Lent,  six  weeks  and 
upwards."  Again,  in  Greene's '  Tu  quoque,'  "  For  if  aBoy,  that  is  throwing  at  his  Jack  o'  Lent, 
chance  to  hit  me  on  the  shins,"  &c.  Reed's  edition  of  Shakespeare,  8vo.  1803,  vol.  v.  p,  126. 
Ibid.  p.  213.  So,  in  the  old  Comedy  of  Lady  Alimony,  1659  : 

"  Throwing  cudgels 

At  Jack-a-Lents  or  Shrove-cocks." 
Again,  in  Ben  Jonson's  Tale  of  a  Tub : 

"  On  an  Ash- Wednesday, 

When  thou  didst  stand  six  weeks  the  Jack  o'  Lent, 
For  Boys  to  hurl  three  throws  a  penny  at  thee." 
And  in  Beaumont  and  Fletcher's  Tamer  tamed : 

"  If  I  forfeit, 

Make  me  a  Jack  o'  Lent,  and  break  my  shins 
For  untagg'd  points  and  counters." 
In  jQuarles'  Shepheard's  Oracles,  4to.  Lond.  1646,  p.  88,  we  read: 

"  How  like  a  Jack  a  Lent 

He  stands,  for  Boys  to  spend  their  Shrove-tide  throws, 
Or  like  a  puppit  made  to  frighten  crows." 

*  Noei  Bourguiguons,  148. 


ST.  DAVID'S  DAY. 

(March  I.) 

•  .,    •:• .  >  1 1 1 1 1  '.i 
"  tua  munera  Cambri 

Nunc  etiam  celebrant,  quotiesque  revolvitur  annus 
Te  memorant :  patrium  Gens  tota  tuetur  honorem, 
Et  cingunt  viridi  redolentia  tempora  Porro." 

MUSCIPULA. 

"  March,  various,  fierce,  and  wild,  with  wind-crackt  cheeky, 
By  wilder  Welshmen  led,  and  crown' d  with  Leeks." 

CHURCHILL. 

ST.  DAVID,  Archbishop  of  Menevy,  now  from  him  called  St.  David's,  in 
Pembrokeshire,  flourished  in  the  fifth  and  sixth  centuries  of  the  Christian  aera, 
and  died  at  the  age  of  a  hundred  and  forty  years.  See  Pits  de  illustribus  An- 
glise  Scriptoribus. 

We  read  in  the  Festa  Anglo-Romana,  small  8vo.  Lond.  16/8,  p.  29,  that  "the 
Britons  on  this  day  constantly  wear  a  Leek,  in  memory  of  a  famous  and  notable 
victory  obtained  by  them  over  the  Saxons ;  they,  during  the  battle,  having 
Leeks  in  their  hats  for  their  military  colours,  and  distinction  of  themselves,  by 
the  persuasion  of  the  said  prelate,  St.  David."  Another  account  adds,  that  they 
were  fighting,  under  their  king  Cadwallo,  near  a  field  that  was  replenished  with 
that  vegetable. 

So  Mr.  Walpole,  in  his  British  Traveller,  tells  us:  "in  the  days  of  King 
Arthur,  St.  David  won  a  great  victory  over  the  Saxons,  having  ordered  every 
one  of  his  soldiers  to  place  a  Leek  in  his  cap,  for  the  sake  of  distinction ;  in 
memory  whereof  the  Welsh  to  this  day  wear  a  Leek  on  the  first  of  March." 

Mr.  Jones,  Bard  to  his  Royal  Highness  the  Prince  of  Wales,  obligingly  com- 
municated to  me  the  following  lines,  which  he  extracted  from  a  manuscript  in 
the  British  Museum :  a  collection  of  Pedigrees  made  by  one  of  the  Randall 
Holmes.  Harl.  MS.  1977-  fol.  9- 


ST.  DAVID'S  DAY.  87 

"  I  like  the  Leeke  above  all  herbes  and  flowers. 
When  first  we  wore  the  same  the  feild  was  ours. 
The  Leeke  is  white  and  greene,  wherby  is  ment 
That  Britaines  are  both  stout  and  eminent ; 
Next  to  the  Lion  and  the  Unicorn, 
The  Leeke  the  fairest  emblyn  that  is  wornea." 


a  The  following  lines  are  from  "Cambria  Triumphans,  or  Panegyricks  upon  Wales/'  by  Ezekiel 
Foisted,  4to.  1703  : 

"Th1  insulting  Saxons  Albion  first  invade, 
With  bloody  slaughters  bloody  victims  made ; 
Thus  flush'd,  their  conquests  they  pursue  5 
With  storms  of  fury  they  their  armies  drew, 
And  in  the  Cambrian  fields  the  threatning  trumpets  blew. 
"  The  vig'rous  few  th'  undaunted  Bishop  leads, 
The  Crosier,  Heav'n,  the  Sword,  the  Camp  invades  I 
By  these  immortal  Victory  succeeds  : 
Ascending  air  the  clouds  invest ;  his  shield, 
Bedeck'd  with  terror,  gains  the  field ; 
The  conquer'd  to  th'  impetuous  victor  yield 
Verdant  trophies*,"  &c.  &c. 
In  "The  Diverting  Post,"  No.  19,  from  Feb.  24  to  March  3,  1705,  we  have  these  lines : 

"  On  St.  David's  Day. 

"  Why,  on  St.  David's  Day,  do  Welsh-men  seek 
To  beautify  their  hats  with  verdant  Leek, 
Of  nauseous  smell  ?     'For  honour  'tis,1  hur  say, 
'  Dulce  et  decorum  est  pro  patria.' 
Right,  Sir,  to  die  or  fight  it  is,  I  think ; 
But  how  is't  Dulce,  when  you  for  it  stink  ?" 

In  a  collection  of  Latin  Poems,  intitled,  "  Poematum  Miscellaneorum,  a  Josepho  Perkins,  liber 
primus,"  4to.  Loud.  1707,  p.  12,  I  find  the  following: 

"  In  Festum  S4i  Davidis,  sive  in  Porrum. 
"  Mensis  erat  Martis  cum  bellica  tela  Britanni 

Audaces  forti  corripuere  manu, 
Miles  quisque  suo  porrum  gestasse  Galero 
Fertur,  et  in  campum  prosiluisse  ferox. 

*  "  Leeki,  which  denote  the  victory  aforesaid  over  th«  Saxons,  by  the  Britons  wearing  them  by  St.  David't 
direction." 


88  .  «T.  DAVID'S  DAY. 

In  the  "Royal  Apophthegms,"  of  King  James,  &c.  12mo.  Lend.  1658,  I  read 
the  following  in  the  first  page :  "  The  Welchmen,  in  commemoration  of  the  Great 
Fight  by  the  Black  Prince  of  Wales,  do  wear  LEEKS  as  their  chosen  ensignb:" 
and  the  Episcopal  Almanack  for  1677  states,  that  St.  David,  who  was  of  royal 
extraction,  and  uncle  to  king  Arthur,  "He  died,  aged  a  hundred  and  forty-six 
years,  on  the  first  of  March,  still  celebrated  by  the  Welsh,  perchance  to  per- 
petuate the  memory  of  his  abstinence,  whose  contented  mind  made  many  a 
favourite  meal  op  such  roots  of  the  earth0." 


Victi  difiugiunt  hostes :  it  clamor  in  Astra  : 

Nempe  Dies  Sancti  Davidis  ille  fuit. 
Hinc  Pprri  Lux  hesc  dignatur  honore  virentis : 

flunc  Festuni  celebrat  Wallia  tola  Diem." 

To  a  Querist  in  "  The  British  Apollo,"  fol.  Lond.  1708,  vol.  I.  No.  10,  asking,  why  do  the 
Ancient  Britons  (viz.  Welshmen)  wear  Leeks  in  their  hats  on  the  first  of  March  ?  the  following 
answer  is  given  :  "  The  ceremony  is  observed  on  the  first  of  March,  in  commemoration  of  a  signal 
victoiy  obtained  by  the  Britons,  under  the  command  of  a  famous  general,  known  vulgarly  by  the 
name  of  St.  David.  The  Britons  wore  a  Leek  in  their  hats  to  distinguish  their  friends  from  their 
enemies,  in  the  heat  of  the  battle." 

"  Tradition's  tale 

Recounting,  tells  how  fam'd  Menevia's  Priest 
Marshall'd  his  Britons,  and  the  Saxon  host 
Discomfited  ;  how  the  green  Leek  his  bands 
Distinguish' d,  since  by  Britons  annual  worn, 
Commemorates  tlieir  tutelary  Saint." 

CAMBRIA,  a  Poem,  by  RICH.  ROLT.  4to.  Lond.  1759,  p.  63. 

Misson,  in  his  Travels  in  England,  translated  by  Ozell,  p.  334,  says,  speaking  of  the  Welsh : 
"  On  the  day  of  St.  David,  their  Patron,  they  formerly  gained  a  victory  over  the  English,  and 
in  the  battle  every  man  distinguish'd  himself  by  wearing  a  Leek  in  his  hat ;  and,  ever  since,  they 
never  fail  to  wear  a  Leek  on  that  day.  The  King  himself  is  so  complaisant  as  to  bear  them 
company." 

b  Coles,  in  his  Adam  in  Eden,  says,  concerning  Leeks,  "  The  Gentlemen  in  Wales  have  them 
in  great  regard,  both  for  their  feeding,  and  to  wear  in  their  hats  upon  St.  David's  Day." 

c  In  "  The  Flowers  of  the  Lives  of  the  most  renowned  Saincts  of  England,  Scotland,  and  Ire- 
land," 4to.  Doway,  1632,  p.  22O,  is  this  passage:  "Their  ordinary  diet  was  so  farre  from  all 
delights,  that  only  bread,  herbes,  and  pure  water,  were  the  chiefest  dainties  which  quenched  their 
hunger  and  thirst." 


ST.  DAVID'S  DAY.  89 

The  commemoration  of  the  British  victory,  however,  appears  to  afford  the 
best  solution  of  wearing  the  Leekc. 

For  a  Life  of  St.  David,  Patron  Saint  of  Wales,  (who,  according  to  a  Welsh 
pedigree,  was  son  of  Caredig,  Lord  of  Cardiganshire,  and  his  mother  Non, 
daughter  of  Ynyr,  of  Caer  Gawch,)  see  Anglia  Sacra,  vol.  II.  The  battle 
gained  over  the  Saxons,  by  King  Cadwallo,  at  Hethfield  or  Hatfield  Chace,  in 
Yorkshire,  A.  D.  633,  is  mentioned  in  Britannia  Sancta,  vol.  II.  p.  l63 :  in 
Lewis's  Hist,  of  Britain,  p.  215,  12\7  :  in  Jeffrey  of  Monmouth,  Engl.  Translat. 
Book  XII.  chap.  8  and  9 :  and  in  Carte's  History  of  England,  vol.  I.  p.  228. 

In  Shakspeare's  play  of  "  King  Henry  the  Fifth,"  Act  V.  Sc.  I.  Gower  asks 
Flnellen,  "  But  why  wear  you  your  Leek  to-day?  Saint  Davy's  Day  is  past." 
From  Fluellen's  reply  we  gather,  that  he  wore  his  Leek  in  consequence  of  an 
affront  he  had  received  but  the  day  before  from  Pistol,  whom  he  afterwards 
compels  to  eat  the  Leek,  skin  and  all,  in  revenge  for  the  insult ;  quaintly  ob- 
serving to  him,  "When  you  take  occasions  to  see  Leeks  hereafter,  I  pray  you, 
mock  at  them,  th.it  is  all."  Gower  too  upbraids  Pistol  for  mocking  "at  an  an- 
cient tradition — begun  upon  an  honourable  respect,  and  worn  as  a  memorable 
trophy  of  predeceased  valour  A." 

c   In  an  old  satirical  Ballad,  intitled,  "The  Bishop's  last  Good-night,"  a  single  sheet,  dated 
1642,  the  14th  stanza  runs  thus  : 

"  LandafT,  provide  for  St.  David's  Day, 
Lest  the  Leeke  and  Red-herring  run  away ; 
Are  you  resolved  to  go  or  stay  : 
You  are  called  for,  LandafF: 
Come  in,  LandafF."     ; 
Ray  has  the  following  Proverb  on  this  day : 

"  Upon  St.  David's  Day,  put  oats  and  bailey  in  the  clay." 

*  In  Caxton's  Description  of  Wales,  at  the  end  of  the  Scholemaster  of  St.  Alban's  Chronicle, 
fol.  Lond.  1500.  Signat.  C.  3.  speaking  of  the  "  Maners  and  Rytes  of  the  Walshemen,"  he  says : 

"  They  have  gruell  to  potage, 
And  Lekes  kynde  to  companage." 
as  also: 

"  Atte  meete,  and  after  eke. 
Her  solace  is  suite  and  Luke. 

In  the  "Flowers  of  the  Lives  of  the  most  renowned  Saincts,"  quoted  in  the  preceding  page, 
we  read  of  St.  David  :  that  "  he  died  1st  March,  about  A.D.  55O,  which  day,  not  only  in  Wales,  but  all 
VOL.  I.  N 


go  iff:  DAVID'S  DAY, 

Owen,  in  his  Cambrian  Biography,  8vo.  Lond.  1803,  p.  .86,  says'.  4t  In  con- 
sequence of  the  Romances  of  the  middle  ages  which  created  the  Seven  Cham- 
pions of  Christendom,  St.  David  has  been  dignified  with  the  title  of  the  Patron 
Saint  of  Wales :  but  this  rank,  however,  is  hardly  known  among  the  people  of 
the  Principality,  being  a  title  diffused  among  them  from  England  in  modern 
times.  The  writer  of  this  account  never  heard  of  such  a  Patron  Saint,  nor 
of  the  Leek  as  his  symbol,  until  he  became  acquainted  therewith  in  London." 
He  adds :  "  The  wearing  of  the  Leek  on  St.  David's  day  probably  originated  from 
the  custom  of  Cymhortha,  or  the  neighbourly  aid  practised  among  farmers, 
which  is  of  various  kinds.  In  some  districts  of  South  Wales,  all  the  neighbours 
of  a  small  farmer  without  means,  appoint  a  day  when  they  all  attend  to  plough 
his  land,  and  the  like ;  and  at  such  a  time  it  is  a  custom  for  each  individual  to 
bring  his  portion  of  Leeks,  to  be  used  in  making  pottage  for  the  whole  Com- 
pany :  and  they  bring  nothing  else  but  the  Leeks  in  particular  for  the  occasion." 
The  Reader  is  left  to  reconcile  this  passage  with  all  that  has  been  already 
said  upon  the  Day. 


ST.  PATRICK'S  DAY. 

THE  Shamrock  is  said  to  be  worn  by  the  Irish,  upon  the  anniversary  of  this 
Saint,  for  the  following  reason.  When  the  Saint  preached  the  Gospel  to  the 
pagan  Irish,  he  illustrated  the  doctrine  of  the  Trinity  by  shewing  them  a  trefoil, 
or  three-leaved  grass  with  one  stalk,  which  operating  to  their  conviction,  the 

England  over,  is  most  famous  in  memorie  of  him.  But  in  these,  our  unhappy  daies,  the  greatest 
part  of  his  solemnitie  consisteth  in  wearing  of  a  greene  Leeke,  and  it  is  a  sufficient  theame  for  a 
tealous  Welchman  to  ground  a  quarrell  against  him  that  doth  not  honour  his  rapp  with  the  like  orna- 
ment that  day." 

Ursula  is  introduced  in  the  old  Play  of  "The  Vow-breaker,  or,  the  fayre  Maid  of  Clifton,"  4to. 
Lond.  1636,  Act  I.  S.  1.  as  telling  Anne — "  Thou  marry  German  !  His  head's  like  a  Welchman' s 
erest  on  St.  Davis' s  Day!,  fle  looks  like  a  hoary  frost  in  December!  Now,  Venus  blesse  me  ! 
I 'de  rather  ly  by  »  (statue.^ ^M^  f  ;i  nj>[/s  tsl ;.,,,,  , 

•/• 


ST.  PATRICK'S  DAY.  91 

Shamrock,  which  is  a  bundle  of  this  grass,  was  ever  afterwards  worn  upon  this 
Saint's  anniversary,  to  commemorate  the  event*. 

Mr.  Jones,  in  his  Historical  Account  of  the  Welch  Bards,  fol.  Lond.  1794, 
p.  13,  tells  us,  in  a  note,  that  "St.  Patrick,  the  Apostle  of  Ireland,  is  said  to  be 
the  son  of  Calphurnius  and  Concha.  He  was  born  in  the  Vale  of  Rhos,  in  Pem- 
brokeshire, about  the  year  373."  (Mr.  Jones,  however,  gives  another  pedigree 
of  this  Saint,  and  makes  him  of  Caernarvonshire.)  He  adds  :  "  His  original 
Welsh  name  was  Maenwyn,  and  his  ecclesiastical  name  of  Patricius  was  given 
him  by  Pope  Celestine,  when  he  consecrated  him  a  Bishop,  and  sent  him  mis- 
sioner  into  Ireland,  to  convert  the  Irish,  in  433.  When  St.  Patrick  landed 
near  Wicklow,  the  inhabitants  were  ready  to  stone  him  for  attempting  an  inno- 
vation in  the  religion  of  their  ancestors.  He  requested  to  be  heard,  and  ex- 
plained unto  them  that  God  is  an  omnipotent,  sacred  spirit,  who  created  heaven 
and  earth,  and  that  the  Trinity  is  contained  in  the  Unity :  but  they  were  re- 
luctant to  give  credit  to  his  words.  St.  Patrick,  therefore,  plucked  a  trefoil 
from  the  ground,  and  expostulated  with  the  Hibernians:  'Is  it  not  as  possible 
for  the  Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost,  as  for  these  three  leaves,  to  grow  upon 


«  From  Mr.  Douce's  interleaved  copy  of  the  Popular  Antiquities.  I  found  the  following  passage 
in  Wyther's  Abuses  stript  and  whipt,  Svo.  Lond.  1613,  p.  71  : 

"And,  for  my  cloathing,  in  a  mantle  goe, 
And  feed  on  Sham-roots,  as  the  Irish  doe." 

Between  May  Day  and  Harvest,  "butter,  new  cheese  and  curds,  and  shannocks,  are  the  food 
of  the  meaner  sort  all  this  season."  Sir  Henry  Piers's  Description  of  West  Meath,  in  Vallancey'g 
Collectanea  de  Rebus  Hibernicis,  No.  1,  p.  121. 

"  Seamroy,  clover,  trefoil,  worn  by  Irishmen  in  their  hats,  by  way  of  a  cross,  on  St.  Patrick's 
Day,  in  memory  of  that  great  saint."  Irish-English  Dictionary,  in  verbo. 

The  British  Druids  and  Bards  had  an  extraordinary  veneration  for  the  number  three.  "  The 
Misletoe,"  says  Vallancey,  in  his  Grammar  of  the  Irish  Language,  "  was  sacred  to  the  Druids, 
because  not  only  its  berries,  but  its  leaves  also,  grow  in  clusters  of  three  united  to  one  stock. 
The  Christian  Irish  hold  the  Seamroy  sacred  in  like  manner,  because  of  three  leaves  united  to 
one  stalk." 

Spenser,  in  his  View  of  the  State  of  Ireland,  A.D.  15.96,  fol.  Dubl.  1633,  p.  72,  speaking  of 
"  these  late  warres  of  Moimster,"  before,  "  a  most  rich  and  plcntifull  countrey,  full  of  corne  and 
cattle,"  says  the  inhabitants  were  reduced  to  such  distress  that,  "  if  they  found  a  plot  of  water- 
cresses  or  Shamrocks,  there  they  flocked  as  to  a  feast  for  the  time." 


.    •  •  ' 


92  ST.  PATRICK'S  DAT. 

a  single  stalk.     Then  the  Irish  were  immediately  convinced  of  their  error,  and 
were  solemnly  baptized  by  St.  Patrick*." 

In  Sir  Thomas  Overbury's  Characters,  when  describing  a  Foot-man,  he  says, 
"  Tis  impossible  to  draw  his  picture  to  the  life,  cause  a  man  must  take  it  as 
he's  running;  only  this,  horses  are  usually  let  bloud  on  St.  Steven's  Day:  on 
St.  Patrick's  he  takes  rest,  and  is  drencht  for  all  the  yeare  after." 


MID  LENT  SUNDAY. 

MOTHERING. 

IN  the  former  days  of  superstition,  while  that  of  the  Roman  Catholics  was 
the  established  religion,  it  was  the  custom  for  people  to  visit  their  Mother- 
Church  on  Mid-Lent  Sunday,  and  to  make  their  offerings  at  the  high  altar. 

C'ovvel,  in  his  Law  Dictionary,  observes  that  the  now  remaining  practice  of 
Motheiing,  or  going  to  visit  parents  upon  Midlent  Sunday,  is  really  owing  to 
that  good  old  custom.  Nay  it  seems  to  be  called  Mothering  from  the  respect 
so  paid  to  the  Mother-Church,  when  the  Epistle  for  the  day  was,  with  some 
allusion,  Galat.  iv.  21.  "Jerusalem  Mater  omnium;'  which  Epistle,  for  Mid- 
lent  Sunday,  we  still  retain,  though  we  have  forgotten  the  occasion  of  itb. 


a  (iainsford,  in  "The  Glory  of  England,  or  a  true  Description  of  many  excellent  Prerogatives 
and  remarkable  blessings.,  whereby  shee  triumpheth  over  all  the  Nations  in  the  World,"  &c.  4to. 
Lond.  1619,  speaking  of  the  Irish,  p.  150,  says,  "  They  use  incantations  and  spells,  wearing  girdles 
of  women's  haire,  and  locks  of  their  lovers." — P.  151 :  "They  are  curious  about  their  horses  tending 
to  witchcraft."  Spenser,  also,  in  the  work  already  quoted,  at  p.  41,  says:  "The  Irish,  at  this 
day,  (A.  D.  1596),  when  they  goe  to  battaile,  say  certaine  prayers  or  charmes  to  their  swords, 
making  a  crosse  therewith  upon  the  earth,  and  thrusting  the  points  of  their  blades  into  the 
ground,  thinking  thereby  to  have  the  better  successe  in  fight.  Also  they  use  commonly  to  sweare 
by  their  swords."  At  p.  43,  he  adds  :  "  The  manner  of  their  woemen's  riding  on  the  wrong  side 
side  of  the  horse,  I  meane  with  their  feces  towards  the  right  side,  as  the  Irish  use,  is  (as  they 
say)  old  Spanish,  and  some  say  African,  for  amongst  them  the  woemen  (they  say)  use  so  to  ride." 

b  The  fourth  Sunday  in  Ix:nt,  says  Wheatley  on  the  Common  Prayer,  (Svo.  Lond.  1741,  p.  227,) 
is  generally  called  Mid-lent,  "  though  Bishop  Sparrow,  and  some  others,  term  it  Dominica  Re- 


MID    LENT   SUNDAY.  93 

The  following  is  found  in  Herrick's  Hesperides,  p.  278 : 

To  DIANEME. 
A  Ceremanie  in  Glecester. 
"  I  'le  to  thee  a  Simnell  bring, 
'Gainst  thou  go'st  a  mothering; 
So  that,  when  she  blesseth  thee, 
Half  that  blessing  thou 'It  give  me." 

In  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  for  February  1?84,  p.  98,  Mr.  Nichols,  writing 
in  the  character  of  a  Nottinghamshire  Correspondent,  tells  us,  that  whilst  he 
was  an  apprentice,  the  custom  was  to  visit  his  Mother  (who  was  a  native  of 
Nottinghamshire)  on  Midlent  Sunday  (thence  called  Mothering  Sunday)  for  a 
regale  of  excellent  furmety*." 

Another  writer  in  the  same  volume,  p.  343,  tells  us,  "  I  happened  to  reside 
last  year  near  Chepstow,  in  Monmouthshire ;  and  there,  for  the  first  time, 
heard  of  Mothering  Sunday.  My  enquiries  into  the  origin  and  meaning  of  it 
were  fruitless ;  but  the  practice  thereabouts  was,  for  all  servants  and  appren- 
tices, on  Midlent  Sunday,  to  visit  their  parents,  and  make  them  a  present  of 
moitey,  a  trinket,  or  some  nice  eatable;  and  they  are  all  anxious  not  to  fail  in 
this  custom." 

fectionis,  the  Sunday  of  Refreshment :  the  reason  of  which,  I  suppose,  is  the  Gospel  for  the  day, 
which  treats  of  our  Saviour's  miraculously  feeding  five  thousand  ;  or  else,  perhaps,  from  the  first 
lesson  in  the  morning,  which  gives  us  the  story  of  Joseph's  entertaining  his  brethren."  He  is  of 
opinion,  that  "  the  appointment  of  these  Scriptures  upon  this  day  might  probably  give  the  first  rise 
to  a  custom  still  retained  in  many  parts  of  England,  and  well  known  by  the  name  of  Mid-lenting 
or  Mothering." 

I  find  in  Kelham's  Dictionary  of  the  Norman,  or  old  French  Language,  Mid-lent  Sunday,  Do- 
minica Refection'u,  is  called  "  P tuques  Charnieulx." 

a  Furmety  (ibid.  p.  97)  is  derived  from  Frumentum,  wheat.  It  is  made  of  what  is  called,  in 
a  certain  town  in  Yorkshire,  "  kneed  wheat,"  or  whole  grains  first  boiled  plump  and  soft,  and 
then  put  into  and  boiled  in  milk,  sweetened  and  spiced."  la  Ray's  North  Country  Words,  "  to 
cree  wheat  or  barley,  is  to  boil  it  soft." 

A  correspondent  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  for  1783,  p.  578,  says  :  "  Some  things  customary 
probably  refer  simply  to  the  idea  of  feasting  or  mortification,  according  to  the  season  and  occasion. 
Of  these,  perhaps,  are  Lamb's  Wool  on  Christmas  Eve ;  Furmety  on  Mothering  Sunday;  Braggot 
(which  is  a  mixture  of  ale,  sugar,  and  spices)  at  the  Festival  of  Easter ;  and  Cross-buns,  Saffron- 
cakes,  or  Symnels,  in  Passion  week ;  though  these  being,  formerly  at  least,  unleavened,  may 
have  a  retrospect  to  the  unleavened  bread  of  the  Jews,  in  the  same  manner  as  Lamb  at  Easter  t ) 
the  Paschal  Lamb." 


94  MID    LENT   SUNDAY. 

There  was  a  singular  rite  in  Franconia,  on  the  Sunday  called  Lcrtare,  or 
Mid-lent  Sunday.  This  was  called  the  Expulsion  of  Death.  It  is  thus  de- 
scribed :  In  the  middle  of  Lent,  the  youth  make  an  image  of  straw  in  the  form, 
of  death,  as  it  is  usually  depicted.  This  they  suspend  on  a  pole,  and  carry 
about  with  acclamations  to  the  neighbouring  villages.  Some  receive  this  pageant 
kindly,  and,  after  refreshing  those  that  bring  it  with  milk,  peas,  and  dried 
pears,  the  usual  diet  of'  the  season,  send  it  home  again.  Others,  thinking  it  a 
presage  of  something  bad,  or  ominous  of  speedy  death,  forcibly  drive  it  away 
from  their  respective  districts'5." 

Macauley,  iu  his  History  and  Antiquities  of  Claybrook,  Leicestershire,  8vo.  Lond.  1/91,  p.  128, 
says  :  "  Nor  must  I  omit  to  observe  that  by  many  of  the  parishioners  due  respect  is  paid  to  Mo- 
thering Sunday." 

In  a  curious  Roll  of  the  Expences  of  the  Household  of  King  Edward  I.  in  his  eighteenth  year, 
remaining  in  the  Tower  of  London,  and  communicated  to  the  Society  of  Antiquaries  of  London 
Feb.  28,  1805,  is  the  following  item  on  Mid-lent  Sunday. 

"  Pro  pisis  jd." 
For  pease  one  penny. 

Qu  > — Whether  these  pease  were  substitutes  for  Furrnenty,  or  Curlings,  which  are  eaten  at  pre- 
sent in  the  North  of  England  on  the  following  Sunday,  commonly  calkd  Passion  Sunday,  but,  by 
the  vulgar  in  those  parts,  Carling  Sunday. 

b  Joannes  Boemus  Aubanus,  p.  268.  "  In  medio  quadragesimae,  quo  quidem  tempore  ad 
laeUliam  nos  ecclesia  adhortatur,  juventus  in  patria  inea  ex  stramine  imaginem  contexit,  quae 
mortem  ipsam  (quemadmodum  depingitur)  mmetur  :  inde  hasta  suspensam  in  vicinos  pagos  voci- 
ferans  portal.  Ab  aliquibus  perhumane  suscipitur,  et  lacte,  pisis  siccatisque  pyris  f(juibus  turn 
vulgo  vesci  solemus)  refecta,  domum  remittitur:  a  caeteris,  quia  malae  res  (ut  jmta  mortis)  praenun- 
cia  sit,  humanitatis  niliil  percipit :  sed  armis,  &  ignominia  ctiam  adfecta,  a  finibus  repellitur." 

It  is  still  more  particularly  described  by  Hospinian  de  Orig.  Fest.  Christian,  fol.  51  b.  "  Ritus 
in  Dominica  I^aetare.  Aliquibus  etiam  in  locis  hoc  die  mortem  expellant.  Larvam  enim  seu  ima- 
ginem mortis  de  stramine  aut  simili  materia  faciunt,  quam  postea  in  aquas  projiciunt  &  srabmer- 
gunt,  ad  signiticandum,  veterem  hominem  esse  mortificandum,  &  peccutis  resistendum,  per  quae 
mors  introivit  in  mundum,  sicut  Meffreth  Sermone  primo  in  Dominica  Laetare  refert.  Meminit 
etiam  hujus  consuetudinis  Matthaeus  Dresserus  in  libcllo  suo  de  Festis,  ubi  indicat,  in  urbe  Misna 
pueros  puellasque  hac  Dominicil  circumferre  ex  ramusculis  abiegnis  confectam  perticam,  addita- 
mentisque  aliis  ornatam :  ac  ostiatim  canendo  memonam  expulsse  mortis  renovare,  ut  nummos 
colligant.  Existimat  autem,  hunc  morem  a  Polonis  &  Silesiis  manasse,  sed  incertum  qn&  imita- 
tione :  hos  enim  eodem  die  gestare  testatur  simulachra  spectris  similia,  eaque  tandem  in  coenum 
projicere  atque  comburere.  Hac  consuetudine  ait  repetere  eos  memori&  historiam  confractorutn 
&  ejectorum  idolorutn  per  Poloniam  &  Silesiam  anno  Christ!  966,  reguante  Mieslao,  sub  quo  ab 
idolomania  Ethnica  ad  verum  Dei  cultum  utraque  gens  conversa  est." 


MID    LENT   SUNDAT.  &5 

OF    CARLINGSa. 

AT  Newcastle-upon-Tyne,  and  many  other  places  in  the  North  of  England, 
grey  peas,  after  having  been  steeped  a  night  in  water,  are  fried  b  with  butter,  given 
away,  and  eaten  at  a  kind  of  entertainment  on  the  Sunday  preceding  Palm  Sun- 
day, which  was  formerly  called  Carec,  or  Carle  Sunday,  as  may  be  yet  seen  in 
some  of  our  old  almanacks.  They  are  called  Carlingsd,  probably,  as  we  call 
the  presents  at  fairs,  Fairings. 

Marshal,  in  his  Observations  on  the  Saxon  Gospels,  elucidates  the  old  name 
(Care)  of  this  Sunday  in  Lent.  He  tells  us  that  "the  Friday  on  which  Christ 

a  In  Randal  Holme's  Academy  of  Armory  and  Blazon,  fol.  Chester,   1688.  Book  III.  cap.  3. 
p.  130,  I  find  the  following : 
"  Carle  Sunday  is  the  second  Sunday  before  Easter,  or  the  fifth  Sunday  from  Shrove  Tuesday." 

b  In  the  Glossary  to  "The  Lancashire  Dialect,"  1775,  Carlings  are  thus  explained:  "CxR- 
LINGS — Peas  boiled  on  Care  Sunday  are  so  called;  i.  e.  the  Sunday  before  Palm  Sunday." 
So  in  the  popular  old  Scottish  song,  "  Fy  !  let  us  all  to  the  Briddel :" 

"  Ther  '11  be  all  the  lads  and  the  lasses 

Set  down  in  the  midst  of  the  ha, 
With  Sybows,  and  Rifarts,  and  Curlings, 

That  are  both  sodden  and  ra." 
"Si/bows  are  onions ;  and  Rifarts  radishes. 

c  It  is  also  called  Passion  Sunday  in  some  old  Almanacks.  In  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  for 
1785,  p.  779,  an  Advertisement,  or  printed  Paper,  for  the  regulation  of  Newark  Fair,  is  copied, 
which  mentions  that  "  Careing  Fair  will  be  held  on  Friday  before  Careing  Sunday :"  and  Mr.  Ni- 
chols remarks  on  this  passage,  that  he  has  heard  an  old  Nottinghamshire  couplet,  in  the  follow- 
ing words : 

"Care  Sunday,  Care  away ; 
Palm  Sunday,  and  Easter-day." 

Another  writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  for  17S9,  p.  491,  tells  us  that,  in  several  villages, 
in  the  vicinity  of  Wisbech,  in  the  Isle  of  Ely,  the  fifth  Sunday  in  Lent  has  been,  time  immemorial, 
commemorated  by  the  name  of  Whirlin  Sunday,  when  Cakes  are  made  by  almost  every  family, 
and  are  called,  from  the  day,  Whirlin  Cakes."  He  professes  to  write  this  word  from  sound,  and 
probably  mistakes  it  for  Carling. 

In  the  Annalia  Dubrensia,  or  Cotswold  Games,  however,  the  following  passage  occurs : 
"  The  Countrie  Wakes  and  Whirlings  have  appear'd 
Of  late  like  forraine  pastimes." 

*  Quaere  if  Carlen  may  not  be  formed  from  the  old  plural  termination  in  en,  as  hosen,  &c  ? 


O.6  MID    LENT   SUNDAY. 

was  crucified  is  called,  in  German,  both  Gute  Freytag  and  Carr  Fryetag." 
That  the  word  Knrr  signifies  a  satisfaction  tor  a  fine  or  penally  ;  and  that  Care, 
or  Carr  Sunday,  was  not  unknown  to  the  English  in  his  time,  al  least  to  such 
as  lived  among  old  people6  in  the  country f. 

Rites,  peculiar,  it  should  seem,  to  Good  Friday,  were  used  on  this  day, 
which  the  Church  of  Rome  called,  therefore,  Passion  Sunday.  Duraud  assigns 
many  superstitious  reasons  for  this,  whicli  confirm  the  fact,  but  are  too  ridicu- 
lous to  be  transcribed.  Llo\d  tells  us,  in  his  Dial  of  Days,  that  on  the  12th 

e  In  Yorkshire,  as  a  clergyman  of  that  county  informed  me,  the  rustics  go  to  the  public-house 
of  the  village  on  this  day,  and  spend  each  their  Carling  gruat :  i.  e.  that  sum  in  drink,  for  the 
Curlings  are  provided  for  them  gratis :  and,  he  added,  that  a  popular  notion  prevails  there  that 
those  who  do  not  do  this  will  be  unsuccessful  in  their  pursuits  for  the  following  year. 

f  Vol.  I.  p.  536.  "  Memini  me  dudum  legisse  alictibi  in  Alsledii  operibus  (quibus  nunc  privor) 
diem  illam  Veneris  in  qua  passus  est  Christus,  Gennanicd  dici  ut  Gute  Fre\tag,  ita  Karr  Freytag, 
a  voce  Karr  qua?  satisfactiomm  pro  mulcta  signiticat.  Certe  Care  vel  Curr  Sunday  non  prorsus 
inauditum  est  hodiernis  Anglis,  run  saltern  inter  senes  de  gentibus." 

The  following  extract  is  from  Hospinian  de  Orig.  Fest.  Christian,  fol  54.  "  German!  hunc  sep- 
timanam  (i.  e.  Hebdomadam  Passionis)  vocant  die  Karrwochen,  a  vetusto  il'o  Germanico  vocabu'.o 
Karr,  quo  mulctam  seu  poenam  pro  de'icto,  vel  potius  satisfactionem  pro  poena  et  mulcta  nomi- 
narunt." — "  Ab  hoc  civili  usu  postea  sacriticuli  mulctas,  quas  poenitentibus,  pro  satisfactione  de- 
lictorum,  imposuerunt,  etiam  in  Latina  lingua  Germanico  vocabulo  nominarunt  Citrrinas.  Alii 
tamen  scribunt  Carenam  et  a  carendo  derivant.  Est  hujus  vocabuli  frequens  usus  apud  Burckhar- 
dum  Vuonnat.  Episcopum  circa  Annum  Domini  1O20,  lib.  9,  et  in  vetustis  Indulgentiarum  Bul- 
lis.  Fuit  igitur  Carena  apud  veteres  in  Ecdesia  Jejunium  aliquot  dierum  in  solo  pane  et  aqua. 
Vocamnt  ergo  Hebdomadam  hanc  Germani  die  Karrwochen,  quod  in  ea  poenitentiam,  hom'nibus 
a  sacerdote  inipo-itam,  communiter  omnes  agerent  jejuniis,  \igiliis,  &c.  pro  peccatis  adm'msis,  qua 
se  Deo  satisfacere  posse  falso  persuasum  hiibebant.  Potest  tamen  etiam  pro  sensu  sic  vocari  Sep- 
timana  h;ec  :  in  ea  si  quidem  pro  mulcta  a  justo  Judice  Deo  humano  generi  imposita,  films  Dei 
in  Cruce  morte  sua  satisftcit,  eosque  ab  aeterna  damnatione  liberavit.  Ob  easdem  causas  quoque 
Dies  Dominicae  passjonis  der  Karrfreytag  appellatur." 

See  also  IhreGlos.  Suio^Goth.  ».  Kaeru  Sunnudag.  p.  1047.  "  Dominica  quinta  Jejunii  magni." 
Lundius  festi  nomen  a  Ktera,  vel  tiara,  pix,  dei'ivat,  diemque  explicat,  quo  fiuida  pice  informant 
Crucis  fores  iUiai  solent.  Idtm  vero  vir  celebiis  alibi  Kierusunnudag  esse  dicit  quiutum  diem  donii- 
nicum  Jejunii  magni.  Et  hoc  ultimum  verum  esse  docet  vetus  Intei^pres  Evani^eliorum,  qui  post 
verba,  "  £Juis  ex  vobis  arguet  me  de  Peccato  ?"  haec  subjungit — "  Hie  Dies  Dominicus  vocatur 
Karusunnudag,  nomenque  habet  ab  accusationibus  et  intentata  Christo  lite  hoc  die,  donee  Judsei 
easdem  perficerent  die  Passionis  thristi.  Mareschallus  in  iiotis  ad  versionem,  A.  S.  p.  536,  apud 


MID    LENT   SUNDAY.  97 

of  March,  at  Rome,  they  celebrated  the  Mysteries  of  Christ  and  his  Passion, 
with  great  ceremony  and  much  devotion s. 

In  the  old  Roman  Calendar  so  often  cited,  I  find  it  observed  on  this  day, 
that  "a  dole  is  made  of  soft  Beans\"  I  can  hardly  entertain  a  doubt  but  that 
our  custom  is  derived  from  hence.  It  was  usual  amongst  the  Romanists  to  give 
away  Beans  in  the  doles  at  funerals :  it  was  also  a  rite  in  the  funeral  ceremonies 
of  heathen  Rome'.  Why  we  have  substituted  Pease  I  know  not,  unless  it  was 

Anglos  Care  vel  Carr  Sunday  dici  ait  eum  diem  Soils  qtti  proxime  festum  Resurrectionls  Christi  an- 
tecedit*.  Quod  dum  cogito,  quodque  German!  Charicoche  hebdomada  sacram  nominent,  diemque 
Christi  emortualem  Charfreytag,  nescio  utrum  credere  debeam,  diversas  voces  esse,  et  ex  alio 
alioque  fonte  derivandas,  ut  solent  German!  sua  hsec  derivare,  vel  a  gara  preparatio,  vel  a  kara, 
luctus,  solicitudo,  &c." 

In  Schiller's  Glossarium  Tcutonicum,  voce  "  Char,"  we  find  it  rendered  in  its  first  sense,  '•  delic- 
tum,  maleficium  :"  in  its  second,  "  satisfactio,  mulcta  pro  delicto."  We  read,  also,  "  Chara,  fe- 
ralia.  Rab.  Maur,  Gloss,  ap.  Diecman.  qui  ex  Ritterphusio  notat :  non  saltern  ilia  feralia  fuissr 
vocata,  qua  ad  euros,  ritus,  8f  officia,  quce  mortuis  iinpcdebantur,  pcrtlnuerunt,  vcrum  etiani  Crt- 
mina  et  scelera,  qua:  pxnam  Sanguinls  irrogantia,  efficiebant,  ut  homines  malefici  nova  pompa 
morti  ducerentur."  fol.  Ulmse,  17'2«,  making  the  third  volume  of  Schilter's  "Thesaurus  Antiqui- 
tatum  Teutonicarum,  Ecclesiastic-arum,  Civilium,  Literariarum,"  p.  163. 

g  Passion,  or  Carling  Sunday,  might  often  happen  on  this  day.  Easter  always  fell  between 
the  21st  of  March  and  the  25th  of  April.  I  know  not.  why  these  rites  were  confined  in  the  Calen- 
dar to  the  12th  of  March,  as  the  moveable  Feasts  and  Fasts  are  not  noted  there.  Perhaps  Passion 
Sunday  might  fall  on  the  12th  of  March  the  year  the  Calendar  was  written  or  printed  in.  How- 
ever that  be,  one  cannot  doubt  of  their  having  belonged  to  what  Durand  calls  Passion  Sunday. 

h  "  Quadragesimae  Reformatio 
Cum  stationibus  ct  toto  mysterio  passionis. 
Fabce  mollcs  in  sportulam  dantur." 

The  soft  Beans  are  much  to  our  pui-pose :  why  soft,  but  for  the  purpose  of  eating  ?  Thus  our 
Peas  on  this  occasion  are  steeped  in  water. 

These  Beans,  it  should  seem  from  the  following  passage  in  Burton's  Anatomy  of  Melancholy, 
were  hallowed.  He  is  enumerating  Popish  superstitions :  "  Their  Breviaries,  Bulles,  hallowed 
Beans,  Exorcisms,  Pictures,  curious  Crosses,  Fables,  and  Babies."  Democritus  to  the  Reader, 
p.  29,  edit.  fbl.  Oxf.  1G32. 

Bale,  in  his  "  Yet  a  Course  at  the  Romysli  Foxe,"  &c.  Signal.  L.  11.  attributes  to  Pope  Euti- 
cianus,  "  the  blessynge  of  Bencs  upon  the  Aultar." 

1  Fabis  "  Romani  sajpius  in  sacrificiis  funeralibus  operati  sunt,  nee  est  ea  consuetude  abolita 
alicubi  inter  Christianos,  ubi  in  Eleemosinam  pro  Mortuis  Faba  distribuuntur.  Moresini  Papatus, 
p.  55.  in  voce. 

*  1  do  not  find  that  Marshall  calls  Carr  Sunday  the  Sunday  preceding  Easter  Sunday,  cither  at  p.  536',  or 
elsew  here. 

VOL.    1.  O 


JilD    LENT    SUNDAY. 


because  they  are  a  pulse  somewhat  fitter  to  be  eaten  at  this  season  of  the  year. 
They  are  given  away  in  a  kind  of  dole  at  this  day.  Our  popish  ancestors  cele- 
brated (as  it  were  by  anticipation)  the  funeral  of  our  Lord  on  this  Care  Sunday, 
with  many  superstitious  usages,  of  which  this  only,  it  should  seem,  has  travelled 
down  to  us.  Durand  tells  us,  that  on  Passion  Sunday  "the  Church  began  her 
public  grief,  remembering  the  mystery  of  the  Cross,  the  Vinegar,  the  Gall,  the 
Reed,  the  Spear,"  &c. 

There  is  a  great  deal  of  learning  in  Erasmus's  Adages  concerning  the  religious 
use  of  Beans,  which  were  thought  to  belong  to  the  dead.  An  observation 
which  he  gives  us  of  Pliny,  concerning  Pythagoras'  s  interdiction  of  this  pulse, 
is  highly  remarkable.  It  is,  "that  Beans  contain  the  souls  of  the  dead."  For 
which  cause  also  they  were  used  in  the  Parentalia.  Plutarch  also,  he  tells  us, 
held  that  pulse  to  be  of  the  highest  efficacy  for  invoking  the  manes  k.  Ridiculous 


"  The  repast  designed  for  the  dead,  consisting  commonly  of  Beans,  Lettuces/'  &c.  Kennel's 
Roman  Antiq.  edit.  8vo.  1699.  p.  362. 

In  the  Lemuria,  which  was  observed  the  9th  of  May,  every  other  night  for  three  times,  to 
pacify  the  ghosts  of  the  dead,  the  Remans  threw  Beans  on  the  fire  of  the  Altar  to  drive  them  out  of 
their  houses. 

k  "  Quin  et  apud  Romanes  inter  funcsta  habebantur  Fabae  :  quippe  quas  nee  tangere,  nee  no- 
minare  diali  flamini  liceret,  quod  ad  mortuos  perlinere  putarentur.  Nam  et  lemuribus  jacieban- 
tur  larvis,  et  parentalibus  adhibebantur  sacrinciis,  et  in  flore  earum  literae  luctus  apparere  videntur, 
ut  testatur  Festus  Pompeius.  Plinius  existimat  ob  id  a  Pythagora  damnatam  fabam,  quod  hebetet 
aensus  &  pariat  insomnia,  vel  quod  animse  mortuorum  sint  in  ea.  jQua  de  causa  et  in  parentali- 
bus assumitur.  Unde  et  Plutarchus  testatur,  legumina  potissimum  valere  ad  evocandos  manes. 
Erasmi  Adag.  in  "  A  fabis  abstineto."  Edit.  fol.  Aurel.  Allob.  160G.  p.  1906. 

On  the  interdiction  of  this  pulse  by  Pythagoras,  the  following  occurs  in  Spencer  de  Legibus  He- 
brseorum,  lib.  1.  p.  1154:  "Quid  enim  Pythagoras,  ejusque  praeceptores,  JEgypti  Mystae,  adeo 
leguminum,  fabarum  imprimis,  esum  et  aspectum  fugerent :  nisi  quod  cibi  mortuorum  coenis  et  exe- 
quiis  proprii,  adeoque  polluti  et  abomiuandi,  haberentur  ?  Ideo  enim  Flamini  Diali,  TOV  A»o« 
famulo,  fabam  nee  tangere  nee  nominare  licuit,  quod  nempe  ad  mortuos  pertinere  crederetur :  nam 
&  lemuralibus  jaciebatur  larvis,  et  parentalibus  adhibebatur  sacrinciis,  uti  Varro  et  Festus  refe- 
runt.  Cum  itaque  Fabae  aliaque  legumina  illis  remotissimae  memoriae  seculis  ad  mortuos  eorum- 
que  sacra  pertinere  crederentur ;  ration!  consentaneum  existit,  Judaeos  ab  ./Egyptiis  aut  Pythago- 
reis  edoctos,  lentes  et  legumina  mortuorum  exequiis  et  lugentium  epulis  peculiariter  addixisse/' 

Dr.  Chandler,  in  his  Travels  in  Greece,  tells  us,  that  he  was  at  a  funeral  entertainment  amongst 
the  modern  Greeks,  where,  with  other  singular  rites,  "  two  followed  carrying  on  their  heads  each 
a  great  dish  of  parboiled  wheat.  These  were  deposited  over  the  body."  And  the  learned  Gregory 


MID    LENT    SUNDAY.  <J9 

and  absurd  as  these  superstitions  may  appear,  it  is  yet  certain  that  our  Carlings 
deduce  their  origin  from  thence1. 

The  vulgar,  in  the  North  of  England,  give  the  following  names  to  the  Sun- 
days of  Lent,  the  first  of  which  is  anonymous  : 

Tid,  Mid,  Misera, 
Carting,  Palm,  Paste  Egg  day™." 

tells  us,  there  is  "  a  practice  of  the  Greek,  Church,  not  yet  out  of  use,  to  set  boyled  Come  before 
the  singers  of  those  holy  hymnes,  which  use  to  be  said  at  their  commemorations  of  the  dead,  or 
those  which  are  asleep  in  Christ.  And  that  which  the  rite  would  have,  is,  to  signifye  the  resurrec- 
tion of  the  body.  Thou  foole  !  that  which  thou  sowest  is  not  quickened  except  it  dye."  Gregorii 
Opuscula,  4to.  Lond,  1650.  p.  128. 

1  There  were  several  religious  uses  of  Pulse,  particularly  Beans,  among  the  Romans.  Hence 
Pliny  says,  "  in  eadem  peculiaris  Religio."  Thus  in  Ovid's  Fasti,  B.  5,  1.  435,  where  he  is  descri- 
bing some  superstitious  rites  for  appeasing  the  dead  : 

"  Terque  manus  puras  fontana  proluit  unda ; 

Vertitur,  et  nigras  accipit  ore  f abas. 
Aversusque  jacit :  sed  dum  jacit,  haec  ego  mitto 

His,  inquit,  redimo  me  meosque  fabis." 
Thus  also  in  Book  II.  1.  575  : 

"  Turn  cantata  ligat  cum  fusco  licia  rhombo  : 

Et  septem  nigras  versat  in  orefabas." 

In  Fosbrooke's  British  Monachism,  vol.  II.  p.  127,  is  the  following :  "  At  Barking  Nunnery 
the  annual  store  of  provision  consisted,  inter  alia,  of  Green  Peas  for  Lent;  Green  Pease  against 
Midsummer;"  with  a  note  copied  from  the  Order  and  Government  of  a  Nobleman's  House  in  the 
XHIth  volume  of  the  Archreologia,  p.  373,  that,  "  if  one  will  have  Pease  soone  in  the  year  follow- 
ing, such  Pease  are  to  be  sowenne  in  the  waine  of  the  moone,  at  St.  Andro's  tide  before  Christmas." 

In  vol.  I.  folio,  of  Smith's  Manuscript  Lives  of  the  Lords  of  Berkeley,  in  the  possession  of  the 
Earl  of  Berkeley,  p.  49,  we  read  that,  on  the  anniversary  of  the  Founder  of  St.  Augustine's,  Bris- 
tol, i.  e.  Sir  Robert  Fitzharding,  on  the  5th  of  February,  "  at  that  Monastery  there  shall  be  one 
hundred  poore  men  refreshed,  in  a  dole  made  unto  them  in  this  forme  :  every  man  of  them  hath  a 
chanon's  loafe  of  bread,  called  a  myche,  and  three  hearings  thearewith.  There  shalbe  doaled  also 
amongst  them  two  bushells  of  Pesys." — "  And  in  the  anniversary  daye  of  Dame  Eve,"  (Lady  Eve, 
wife  of  the  above  Lord,  Sir  Robert  Fitzharding,)  "  our  Foundresse,  i.e.  12  Marcii,  a  dole  shalbe 
made  in  this  forme :  that  daye  shalbe  doled  to  fifty  poore  men  fifty  loafes  called  miches,  and  to 
each  three  hearings,  and,  amongst  them  all,  one  bushell  of  Pease."  Lord  Robert  Fitzharding 
died  Feb.  5th,  1170,  17  Hen.  II.  aged  about  75  years.  Dame  Eve,  who  herself  founded  and  be- 
came prioress  of  the  House  called  the  Magdalens,  by  Bristol,  died  prioress  thereof  March  12th,  1173. 
"  This  couplet  is  differently  given  by  a  writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  for  1783,  vol.  LVJU. 
p.  183,  as  follows : 


100  MID    1ENT    SUNDAY. 

The  three  first  are  certainly  corruptions  of  some  part  of  the  antient  Latin 
Service,  or  Psalms,  used  on  eachn. 

The  word  Care  is  preserved  in  the  subsequent  account  of  art  obsolete  custom 
at  marriages  in  this  kingdom.  "  According  to  the  use  of  the  Church  of  Sarum, 
when  there  was  a  marriage  before  Mass,  the  parties  kneeled  together,  and  had 
a  fine  linen  cloth  (called  the  Care  Cloth)  laid  over  their  heads  during  the  time 
of  Mass,  till  they  received  the  benediction,  and  then  were  dismissed0." 

I  suspect  the  following  passage  to  be  to  our  purpose.  Skelton,  poet  laureat 
to  Henry  the  Eighth,  in  his  Colin  Clout,  has  these  words,  in  his  usual  strange 
and  rambling  style : 

"  Men  call  you  therefore  prophanes, 

Ye  pick  no  shrympes,  nor  pranes  ; 

Salt-fish,  stock-fish,  nor  herring. 

It  is  not  for  your  wearing. 

Nor,  in  holy  Lenton  Season, 

Ye  will  neither  Beams  ne  Peason  ?, 


"  Tid,  and  Mid,  and  Misera, 
Carling,  Palm,  and  Good-Pas-day." 

The  above  writer  also  gives  a  more  particular  account  of  the  C'arlings,  or  Grey  Peas,  and  of 
the  manner  of  dressing  and  eating  them.  See  also  Gent.  Mag.  for  1786,  vol.  LVI.  p.  410. 

n  In  the  FestaAnglo-Romana,  Lond.  1G78,  we  are  told  that  the  first  Sunday  in  Lent  is  called 
Quadragesima  or  Invocavit;  the  second  Reminiscere ;  the  third  Oculi;  the  fourth  Lcetare ;  the 
fifth  Judica ;  and  the  sixth  Dominica  Magna.  Oculi,  from  the  entrance  of  the  14th  verse  of  the 
25th  Psalm.  "  Oculi  mei  semper  ad  Dominum,"  &c.  Reminiscere,  from  the  entrance  of  the  5th 
verse  of  Psalm  25,  "  Reminiscere  Miserationum,"  &c.  and  so  of  the  others. 

Thus  our  Tid  may  have  been  formed  from  the  beginning  of  Psalms,  &c.  Te  deum — Mi  cfeus — 
Miserere  mei. 

In  the  Statistical  Account  of  Scotland,  vol.  X.  p.  413,  8vo.  Edinb.  1794,  Parish  of  Tiry,  in  Ar- 
gyleshire,  we  read:  "The  common  people  still  retain  some  Roman  Catholic  sayings,  prayers, 
and  oaths,  as  expletives ;  such  as  '  Diets  Muire  let ;'  i.  e.  God  and  Mary  be  with  you ;  '  Air 
~Muire,'  swearing  by  Mary,  &c." 

*  Blount  in  Verbo :  "  Prosternant  se  sponsus  et  sponsain  Oratione  ad  gradum  Altaris  :  et  tento 
pallio  super  eos,  quod  teneant  quatuor  Clerici  in  superpelliciis  ad  quatuor  cornua."  Missale  ad 
Us.  Sarum.  12mo.  Venet.  1494.  Idem.  fol.  Antw.  1527. 

»  In  a  most  curious  book,  intituled,  "  A  World  of  Wonders,"  fol.  Lond.  1607,  a  translation  by 
R.  C.  from  the  French  copy,  "  the  argument  whereof  is  taken  from  the  Apologie  for  Herodotus, 


MID    LENT   SUNDAY.  101 

But  ye  look  to  be  let  loose, 

To  a  pigge  or  to  a  goose." 

The  Popish  Kingdorne  has  the  following  summary  for  Care  Sunday,  fol.  49-  l>. 
"  Now  comes  the  Sunday  forth,  of  this  same  great  and  holy  fast : 
Here  doth  the  Pope  the  shriven  blesse,  absoluing  them  at  last 
From  ail  their  sinhes ;  and  of  the  Jewes  the  law  he  doth  alow, 
As  if  the  power  of  God  had  not  sufficient  bene  till  now  : 
Or  that  the  law  of  Moyses  here  were  still  of  force  and  might, 
In  these  same  happie  dayes,  when  Christ  doth  raigne  with  heavenly  light. 
The  boyes  with  ropes  of  straw  doth  frame  an  vgly  monster  here, 
And  call  him  death,  whom  from  the  towne,  with  prowd  and  solemne  chere, 
To  hilles  and  valleyes  they  conuey,   and  villages  thereby, 
From  whence  they  stragling  doe  retnrne,  well  beaten  commonly. 
Thus  children  also  beare,  with  speares,  their  cracknelles  round  about, 
And  two  they  haue,  whereof  the  one  is  called  Sommer  stout, 
Apparalde  all  in  greene,  and  drest  in  youthfull  fine  araye; 
The  other  Winter,  clad  in  mosse,  with  heare  all  hoare  and  graye : 
These  two  togither  fight,  of  which  the  palme  cloth  Sommer  get. 
From  hence  to  meate  they  go,  and  all  with  wine  their  whistles  wet. 
The  other  toyes  that  in  this  time  of  holly  fastes  appeare, 
I  loth  to  tell,  nor  order  like,  is  used  every  wheare." 


written  in  Latine  by  Henrie  Stephen,  and  continued  here  by  the  Author  hunselfe,"  p.  294,  speaking 
of  a  Popish  book,  intituled,  "  Quadragesiniale  Spirituale,"  otherwise  called  Lent's  Allegory,  printed 
at  Paris  A.  D.  1565,  the  writer  extracts  certain  periods.  Thus,  chap.  2  :  "  After  the  sallad  (eaten  in 
Lent  at  the  firtt  service)  we  eate  fried  Beanes,  by  which  we  understand  Confession.  When  we 
would  have  Bettnes  well  sodden,  we  lay  them  in  steepe,  for  otherwise  they  will  never  seeth  kindly. 
Therefore,  if  we  purpose  to  amend  our  faults,  it  is  not  sufficient  barely  to  confesse  them  at  all 
adventure,  but  we  must  let  our  Confession  lie  in  steepe  in  the  water  of  Meditation."  "  And  a  little 
after :  We  do  not  use  to  seeth  ten  or  twelve  Beanes  together,  but  as  many  as  we  meane  to  eate  : 
no  more  must  we  steepe,  that  is,  meditate,  upon  ten  or  twelve  sinnes  onely,  neither  for  ten  or 
twelve  dayes,  but  upon  all  the  sinnes  that  ever  we  committed,  even  from  our  birth,  if  it  were  pos- 
sible to  remember  them."  Chap.  3  :  "  Strained  Pease  (Madames)  are  not  to  be  forgotten.  You 
know  how  to  handle  them  so  well,  that  they  will  be  delicate  and  pleasant  to  the  tast.  By  these 
strained  Pease  our  allegorizing  flute  pipeth  nothing  else  but  true  'contrition  of  heart."  "  River- 
vrater,  which  continually  moveth,  runneth,  and  floweth,  is  very  good  for  the  seething  of  Pease. 
We  must  (I  say)  have  contrition  for  our  sins  and  take  the  running-water,  that  is,  the  teares  of 
the  heart,  which  must  runne  and  come  even  into  the  eyes." 


102 


PALM  SUNDAY. 

THIS  is  evidently  called  Palm  Sunday  because,  as  the  Ritualists  say*,  on 
that  day  the  boughs  of  Palm-trees  used  to  be  carried  in  procession,  in  imitation 
of  those  which  the  Jews  strewed  in  the  way  of  Christ  when  he  went  up  to  Je- 
rusalem. 

The  Palm-tree  was  common  in  Judea,  and  planted,  no  doubt,  every  where 
by  the  way-sides.  Sprigs  of  Box-wood  are  still  used  as  a  substitute  for  Palms 
in  Roman  Catholic  Countries.  The  Consecration  Prayer  seems  to  leave  a  lati- 
tude for  the  species  of  Palm  used  instead  of  the  real  Palmb. 

*  "  Dicitur  enim  Dominica  in  rarais  Palmarum,  quod  illo  die  Kami  palmarum  in  processionibus 
deportentur  in  significationem  illorum,  quos  filii  Israel  straverant  in  via,  Christo  jam  venientc. 
Belith.  531,  p.  34,  Cap.  Durand.  Explic.  Divin.  Offic.  cap.  94.  in  Ram.  Palmar.  See  also  Dr. 

Sparks's  Feasts  and  Fasts. 

b  These  boughs,  or  brandies  of  Palm,  underwent  a  regular  blessing.  "  Dominica  in  ramis 
Palmarum.  Finito  Evangelic  sequatur  Benedictio  Florum  et  Frondium  a  sacerdote  induto  Cappa 
serica  rubea  super  gradum  tertium  Altaris  australem  converse  :  positis  prius  palmis  cum  Jloribus 
supra  Altare  pro  Clericis,  pro  aliis  vero  super  gradum  Altaris  in  parte  australi."  Among  the 
Prayers,  the  subsequent  occurs  :  "  Omnipotens  sempiterne  Deus  qui  in  Diluvii  eff  usione  Noe  famulo 
tuo  per  os  Columbae  gestantis  ramum  Oliv<e  pacem  Terris  redditam  nunciasti :  te  supplices  depre- 
camur  ut  hanc  Creaturam  florum  et  frondium,  spatulasque  Palmarum  seu  frondes  Arborum, 
quas  ante  Conspectum  Gloriae  tuae  offerimus  veritas  tua  sanctificet^  :  ut  devotus  Populus  in  manibus 
eassuscipiens,  benedictionis  tuae  gratiam  consequi  mereatur,"  per  xp'm."  Then  is  the  following  pas- 
sage in  the  Prayer  before  they  are  blessed  with  holy-water :  "  Benedic  >J<  etiam  et  hos  Ramos  Palma- 
rum ceterarumque  Arborum  quos  tui  famuli — suscipiunt,"  &c.  with  the  Rubric,  "His  itaque 
peractis  distribuantur  Palmae."  Sprigs  of  flowers,  too,  appear  to  have  been  consecrated  on  the 
occasion  :  "  Et  hos  Palmarum  ceterarumque  Arborum  ac  Florum  ramos  benedicere  &  sauctificare 
digneris,"  &c.  See  the  "  Missale  ad  Usum  Ecclesie  Sarisburiensis,  1555."  4to.  Lond. 

The  Author  of  "  The  Festyvall,"  1511,  fol.  28,  speaking  of  the  Jews  strewing  Palrn-branchcs 
before  Christ,  says  :  "  And  thus  we  take  Palme  and  Floures  in  the  processyon  as  they  dyde,  and 
go  in  processyon  knelynge  to  the  Crosse  in  the  worshyp  and  mynde  of  hym  that  was  done  on  the 
Crosse,  worshyppynge  and  welcomynge  hym  with  songe  into  the  Chyrche,  as  the  people  dyde  our 
Lord  into  the  Cyte  of  Jherusalem.  It  is  called  Palme  Sondaye  for  bycause  the  Palme  beto- 


PALM    SUNDAY.  ]03 

Stow,  in  his  Survey  of  London,  tells  us,  "  that  in  the  week  before  Easter  had 
ye  great  shewes  made  for  the  fetching  in  of  a  twisted  tree  or  with,  as  they 
termed  it,  out  of  the  woods  into  the  King's  house,  and  the  like  into  every  man's 
house  of  honour  or  worship."  This  must  also  have  been  a  substitute  for  the 
Palmc. 

keneth  vyctory,  wherfore  all  Crysten  people  sholde  here  Palme  in  processyon,  in  tokennynge  that 
he  hath  foughten  w*h  the  fende  our  enemye,  and  hath  the  vyctory  of  hym." 

In  the  third  volume  of  Horda  Angel-Cynnan,  p.  174,  Mr.  Strutt  cites  an  old  manuscript,  saying-, 
"  Wherfor  holi  Chirche  this  daye  makith  solempne  processyon,  in  myncle  of  the  processyon  that 
Cryst  made  this  dey :  but  for  encheson  that  wee  hav  noone  Olyve  that  beirith  grcene  Icves,  therefore 
vie  taken  Palmc,  and  geven  instede  of  Olyve,  and  beare  it  about  in  processione.  So  is  thys  daye  called 
Palme  Sunday."  A  Writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine,  vol.  XL1X.  for  December  1779,  p.  579, 
observes  on  the  above :  "  It  is  evident  that  something  called  a  Palm  was  carried  in  procession  on 
Palm  Sunday. — What  is  meant  by  our  having  no  Olive  that  beareth  green  leaves  I  do  not  know. — 
Now  it  is  my  idea  that  these  Palms,  so  familiarly  mentioned,  were  no  other  than  the  branches  of 
Yew-trees.  The  passage  cited  in  the  same  Miscellany,  vol.  L.  for  March  178O,  p.  128,  from  Cax- 
ton's  Directions  for  keeping  Feasts  all  the  Year,  printed  in  1483,  is  decisive  :  "  but  for  encheson 
that  we  have  non  Olyve  that  berith  grene  leef,  algate  therfore  we  take  Ewe  instede  of  Palme  and 
Olyve,  and  beren  about  in  processyon,"  #c. 

Barnaby  Googe,  in  the  Popish  Kingdome,  fol.  42,  says  : 

"  Besides  they  candles  up  do  light,  of  vertue  like  in  all, 
And  Willow  braunches  hallow,  that  they  Palmes  do  use  to  call. 
This  done,  they  verily  beleevc  the  tempest  nor  the  storaie 
Can  neyther  hurt  themselves,  nor  yet  their  cattell,  nor  their  come." 

Coles,  also,  in  his  "  Adam  in  Eden/'  speaking  of  Willow,  tells  us  :  "  The  blossoms  come  forth 
before  any  leaves  appear,  and  arc  in  their  most  flourishing  estate  usually  before  Easter,  divers  ga- 
thering them  to  deck  up  their  houses  on  Palm  Sunday,  and  therefore  the  said  flowers  are  called 
Palme." 

Newton,  in  his  "  Herball  for  the  Bible,"  Svo.  Lond.  1587,  p.  206,  after  mentioning  that  the 
Box-tree  and  the  Palm  were  often  confounded  together,  adds  :  "  This  error  grew  (as  I  thinke)  at 
the  first  for  that  the  common  people  in  some  countries  use  to  decke  their  church  with  the  boughes 
and  branches  thereof  on  the  Sunday  next  afore  Easter,  commonly  called  Palme  Sunday ;  for  at 
that  time  of  the  yeare  all  other  trees,  for  the  most  part,  are  not  blowen  or  bloomed." 

In  Mr.  Nichols's  Extracts  from  Churchwardens  Accompts,  4to.  1797,  among  those  of  St.  Martin 
Outwich,  London,  we  have  these  articles,  A.  D.  151O-11.  p.  270.  "First,  paid  for  Palme,  Box- 
Jloures,  and  Cakes,  iiijd."  p.  272,  A.  D.  1525.  "  Paid  for  Palme  on  Palme  Sunday,  ij«l.  ib."  "  Paid 
for  Kaks,  Flowers,  and  Yow,  ijd." 

c  By  an  Act  of  Common  Council,  1  and  2  Phil,  and  Mary,  for  retrenching  expences,  among 
other  things,  it  was  ordered,  "  that  from  henceforth  there  shall  be  no  WYTH  fetcht  home  at  the 


104  PALM    SUNDAY. 

The  Church  of  Rome  has  given  the  following  account  of  her  ceremonies  on 
this  day.  "The  blessed  Sacrament  reverently  carried,  as  it  were  Christ,  upon 

Major's  or  Sheriffs  Houses.     Neither  shall  they  keep  any  lord  of  misrule  in  any  of  their  houses." 
Strype's  Stow's  London,  Book  1.  p.  246. 

In  the  Statistical  Account  of  Scotland,  vol.  XV.  p.  45,  (8vo.  Edinb.  1795.)  Parish  of  Lanark, 
County  of  Lanark,  we  read  of  "  a  gala  kept  by  the  boys  of  the  Grammar-school,  beyond  all  me- 
mory, in  regard  to  date,  on  the  Saturday  before  Palm  Sunday.  They  then  parade  the  streets  with 
a  Palm,  or  its  substitute,  a  large  tree  of  the  Willow  kind,  Salix  caprea,  in  blossom,  ornamented 
with  daffodils,  mezereon,  and  box-tree.  This  day  is  called  Palm  Saturday ;  and  the  custom  is 
certainly  a  Popish  relic  of  very  ancient  standing." 

I  know  not  how  it  has  come  to  pass,  but  to  wear  the  Willow  on  other  occasions  has  long  im- 
plied a  man's  being  forsaken  by  his  mistress.  Thus  the  following,  from  "  A  Pleasant  Grove  of 
New  Fancies,"  8vo.  land.  1657: 

"The  Willow  Garland. 
"  A  Willow  Garland  thou  didst  send 

Perfum'd  last  day  to  me, 
Which  did  but  only  this  portend  : 

I  was  forsook  by  thee. 
"  Since  it  is  so,  I'le  tell  thee  what. 

To-morrow  thou  shalt  see 
Me  vveare  the  Willow,  after  that 

To  dye  upon  the  tree." 

The  Columbine,  too,  by  the  following  passage  from  Browne's  Britannia's  Pastorals,  has  had 
the  same  import.    Book  2.  p.  81: 

"  The  Columbine,  in  tawing  often  taken, 
Is  then  ascrib'd  to  such  as  are  forsaken." 

The  following,  "  To  the  Willow  Tree,"  is  in  Herrick's  Hesperides,  p.  120 : 

"  Thou  art  to  all  lost  love  the  best, 

The  only  true  plant  found, 
Wherewith  young  men  and  maids  distrest, 

And  left  of  love,  are  crown'd. 

"  When  once  the  lover's  rose  is  dead, 

Or  laid  aside  forlorne, 
Then  Willow-garlands,  'bout  the  head, 

Bedew'd  with  tears,  are  worne. 
"  When  with  neglect  (the  lover's  bane) 

Poor  maids  rewarded  be, 
For  their  love  lost,  their  onely  gaine 

Is  but  a  wreathe  from  thee. 


PALM    SUNDAY.  105 

the  Ass,  with  strawing  of  bushes  and  flowers,  bearing  of  Palms,  setting  out 
boughs,  spreading  and  hanging  up  the  richest  clothes,  &c.  all  done  in  a  very 


"  And  underneath  thy  cooling  shade 

(When  weary  of  the  light) 
The  love-spent  youth,  and  love-sick  maid, 

Come  to  weep  out  the  night." 

In  Lilly's  Sappho  and  Phao,  act  2.  sc.  4.  is  the  following  passage :  "  Enjoy  thy  care  in  covert ; 
weare  Willow  in  thy  hat  and  bayes  in  thy  heart."  A  Willow,  also,  in  Fuller's  Worthies,  (Cam- 
bridgeshire, p.  144,)  is  described  as  "a  sad  tree,  whereof  such  who  have  lost  their  love  make  their 
mourning  garlands,  and  we  know  what  exiles  hung  up  their  harps  upon  such  dolefull  supporters. 
The  twiggs  hereof  are  physick  to  drive  out  the  folly  of  children.  This  tree  delighteth  in  moist 
places,  and  is  triumphant  in  the  Isle  of  Ely,  where  the  roots  strengthen  their  banks,  and  lop  af- 
fords fuell  for  their  fire.  It  groweth  incredibly  fast,  it  being  a  by-word  in  this  county,  that  the 
profit  by  Willows  will  buy  the  owner  a  horse  before  that  by  other  trees  will  pay  for  his  saddle. 
Let  me  adde,  that  if  green  Ashe  may  burn  before  a  queen,  withered  Willows  may  be  allowed  to 
burne  before  a  lady." 

To  an  enquiry  in  the  British  Apollo,  vol.  II.  No.  98,  (fol.  Lond.  1710,)  "why  are  those  who 
have  lost  their  love  said  to  wear  the  Willow-garlands  ?"  it  is  answered,  "  because  Willow  was  in 
ancient  days,  especially  among  herdsmen  and  rusticks,  a  badge  of  mourning,  as  may  be  collected 
from  the  several  expressions  of  Virgil  in  his  Eclogues,  where  the  nymphs  and  herdsmen  are  fre- 
quently introduced  sitting  under  a  Willow  mourning  their  loves.  You  may  observe  the  same  in 
many  Greek  Authors,  I  mean  Poets,  who  take  liberty  to  feign  any  sort  of  story.  For  the  ancients 
frequently  selected,  and,  as  it  were,  appropriated  several  trees,  as  indexes  or  testimonials  of  the 
various  passions  of  mankind,  from  whom  we  continue  at  this  day  to  use  Ewe  and  Rosemary  at 
funerals,  in  imitation  of  antiquity ;  these  two  being  representatives  of  a  dead  person,  and  Willow 
of  love  dead,  or  forsaken.  You  may  observe  that  the  Jews,  upon  their  being  led  into  captivity, 
Psalm  137.  are  said  to  hang  their  harps  upon  Willows,  i.  e.  trees  appropriated  to  men  in  affliction 
and  sorrow,  who  had  lost  their  beloved  3ion. 

In  the  old  play  called  "  What  you  will,"  where  a  lover  is  introduced  serenading  his  mistress, 
we  read — "  He  sings,  and  is  answered ;  from  above  a  Willow-garland  is  fung  downe,  and  the 
song  ceaseth."— 

"  Is  this  my  favour  ?  am  I  crown'd  with  scorne  ?" 

Marston's  Works,  12°.  Lond.  1633,  signat.  O. 

In  "The  Comical  Pilgrim's  Travels  thro'  England,"  8vo.  Lond.  1723,  p.  23,  is  the  following. 
"  Huntingdonshire  is  a  very  proper  county  for  unsuccessful  lovers  to  live  in ;  for,  upon  the  loss  of 
their  sweethearts,  they  will  here  find  an  abundance  of  Willow-trees,  so  that  they  may  either  wear 
the  willow  green,  or  hang  themselves,  which  they  please  :  but  the  latter  is  reckoned  the  best  re- 
medy for  slighted  love." 

VOL.  1.  p 


106  PALM    SUNDAY. 

goodly  ceremony  to  the  honour  of  Christ,  and  the  memory  of  his  triumph  upon 
this  dayd." 

Coles,  in  his  "Art  of  Simpling,  an  Introduction  to  the  Knowledge  of  Plants,"  p.  65,  says,  "  the 
Willow-garland  is  a  thing  talked  of,  but  I  had  rather  talke  of  it  then  weare  it." 

"Wylowe-tree — hit  is  sayd  that  the  sede  therof  is  of  this  vertue,  that,  if  a  man  drynke  of  hit, 
he  shall  gete  no  sones,  but  only  bareyne  doughters."  Bertholomeus  De  Propriet.  Rerum.  fol. 
Lond.  T.  Berth,  fol.  286. 

Cole,  in  Welsh,  signifies  loss,  also  hazel-wood. — "  There  is  an  old  custom  of  presenting  a  for- 
saken lover  with  a  stick,  or  twig  of  hazel ;  probably  in  allusion  to  the  double  meaning  of  the 
word.  Of  the  same  sense  is  the  following  proverb,  supposed  to  be  the  answer  of  a  widow, 
on  being  asked  why  she  wept :  "  painful  is  the  smoke  of  the  hazel."  Owen's  Welsh  Dictionary, 
in  voce  "Cole." 

d  The  Rhemists,  in  their  Translation  of  the  New  Testament,  as  cited  by  Bourne,  chapter  xxii. 

Hospinian,  in  his  Origin  of  Christian  Feasts,  introduces  the  poet  Naogeorgus  thus  describing 
Palm  Sunday : 

"  Hinc  venit  alma  dies,  qua  Christus  creditur  urbem 

Ingressus  Solymam,  dorso  gestatus  aselli : 

Turn  ridenda  iteram  faciunt  spectacla  Papistic, 

Insigni  valde  pompa,  facieque  severa. 

Ligneum  habent  asinum,  &  simulachrum  equitantis  in  illo 

Ingens :  at  vero  tabula  consistit  asellus, 

Quatuor  atque  rotis  trahitur,  quern  mane  paratum 

Ante  fores  teuipli  statuunt :  populus  venit  omnis, 

Arboreos  portans  ramos,  salicesque  virentes, 

Quos  tempcstates  contra,  ccelique  fragorem 

Adjurat  pastor,  multo  grandique  precatu. 

Mox  querno  sese  coram  prosternit  asello 

Sacrificus,  longa  quern  virga  percutit  alter. 

Postquam  surrexit,  grandes  de  corte  scholaruin 

Se  duo  prosternunt  itidem  mirabili  amictu, 

Cantuque  absurdo  :  qui  ut  surrexere,  in  acernum 

Protendunt  equitem  digitos,  monstrantque  canentes : 

Hunc  esse  ilium,  qui  quondam  venturus  in  orbem 

Credentem  Israel  a  jure  redemerit  Orci, 

Cuique  viam  ramis  turba  exornarit  Olivae. 

His  decantatis,  ramos  dehinc  protinus  omnes 

Conjiciunt  paitim  in  simulachrum,  partim  in  aselluui, 

Cujus  et  ante  pedes  magnus  cumulatur  acervus. 

Post  haec  in  templum  trahitur,  pneeuntibus  unctis, 


PALM    SUNDAY.  10? 

Naogeorgus's  Description  of  the  Ceremonies  on  Palin  Sunday  is  thus  trans- 
lated by  Barnabe  Googe : 

"  Here  comes  that  worthie  day  wherein  our  Savior  Christ  is  thought 

To  come  unto  Jerusalem,  on  asses  shoulders  brought : 

When  as  againe  these  Papistes  fonde  their  foolish  pageantes  have 

With  pompe  and  great  soletnnitie,  and  countnaunce  wondrous  grave. 

A  woodden  Asse  they  have',  and  Image  great  that  on  him  rides, 

But  underneath  the  Asse's  feete  a  table  broad  there  slides, 

Being  borne  on  wheeles,  which  ready  drest,  and  al  things  meete  therfort-, 

The  Asse  is  brought  abroad  and  set  before  the  churche's  doore  : 

The  people  all  do  come,  and  bowes  of  trees  and  Palmes  they  bert, 

Which  things  against  the  tempest  great  the  Parson  conjures  there, 

And  straytwayes  downe  before  the  Asse,  upon  his  face  he  lies, 

Whome  there  an  other  Priest  doth  strike  with  rodde  of  largest  sise : 

He  rising  up,  two  lubbours  great  upon  their  faces  fall, 

In  straunge  attire,  and  lothsomely,  with  filthie  tune,  they  ball : 

Who,  when  againe  they  risen  are,  with  stretching  out  their  hande, 

They  poynt  unto  the  wooden  knight,  arid,  -singing  as  they  stande, 

Declare  that  that  is  he  that  came  into  the  worlde  to  save, 

And  to  redeeme  such  as  in  him  their  hope  assured  have  : 

And  even  the  same  that  long  agone,  while  in  the  streate  he  roade, 

The  people  mette,  and  Olive-bowes  so  thicke  before  him  stroade. 

Consequitur  populus,  quamvis  certamine  magno 

jQuisque  legat  jactas  asini  ad  vestigia  frondes  : 

Falsb  etenim  summis  praesertim  viribus  illas 

Contra  hyemes  pollere  putant,  &  fulmina  dira." — 

"Talia  cum  faciant  uncti,  populusque  tributhn, 

Illico  sectantur  pueri  post  prandia :  certum 

Dicitur  aedituo  pretium,  danmumque  cavetur, 

Assumuntque  asiiunn,  &  per  vicos  atque  plateas 

Carmina  cunt  antes  quaedam  notissima  raptant : 

Quts  nummi  k  populo,  vel  panes  dantur,  &  ova. 

PrsedsB  hujus  partem  Indi  praestare  magistro 

Coguntur  mediam,  ne  exors  sit  solus  aselli."    fol.  55. 

•  "  Upon  Palme  Sondaye  they  play  the  foles  sadely,  drawynge  after  them  an  Asse  in  a  rope, 
when  th<y  be  not  moche  distante  from  the  Woden  Asse  that  they  drawe."  Pref.  to  a  rare  work, 
entitled,  "  A  Dialoge,  &c. — the  Pylgremage  of  pure  Devotyon,  newly  translatyd  into  Englishe," 
No  date;  but  supposed  to  have  been  printed  in  1551.  See  Herbert's  Ames. 


108  PALM    SUNDAY. 

This  being  soung,  the  people  cast  the  braunches  as  they  passe, 

Some  part  upon  the  Image,  and  some  part  upon  the  Asse  : 

Before  whose  feete  a  wondrous  heape  of  bowes  and  braunches  ly-; 

This  done,  into  the  Church  he  strayght  is  drawne  full  solemly  : 

The  shaven  Priestes  before  them  marche,  the  people  follow  fast, 

Still  striving  wlto  shall  gather  first  the  bowes  that  duwne  are  cast: 

For  falsely  they  beleeve  that  these  have  force  and  vertue -great 

Against  the  rage  of  winter  stormes  and  thunders  flashing  heate." 

"  In  some  place  wealthie  citizens,  and  men  of  sober  chore, 

For  no  small  summe  doe  hire  this  Asse  with  them  about  to  berc, 

And  manerly  they  use  the  same,  not  suffering  any  by 

To  touch  this  Asse,  nor  to  presume  unto  his  presence  ny." 

"  When  as  the  priestes  and  people  all  have  ended  this  their  sport, 

The  boyes  doe  after  dinner  come,  and  to  the  Church  resort : 

The  Sexten  pleasde  with  price,  and  looking  well  no  harme  be  done  : 

They  take  the  Asse,  and  through  the  streetes  and  crooked  lanes  they  rone, 

Whereas  they  common  verses  sing,  according  to  the  guise, 

The  people  giving  money,  breade,  and  egges  of  largest  sise. 

Of  this  their  gaines  they  are  compelde  the  maister  halfe  to  give, 

Least  he  alone  without  his  portion  of  the  Asse  should  livef." 

In  the  "  Doctrine  of  the  Masse  Booke,  concerning  the  making  of  Holye 
Water,  Salt,  Breade,  Canclels,  Ashes,  lyre,  Insence,  Pascal,  Pascal  Lambe, 
Egges  and  Herbes,  the  Marying  Rynge,  the  Pilgrimes  Wallet,  Staffe,  and  Crosse, 
truly  translated  into  Englishe,  Anno  Domini  1554,  the  2°  of  May,  from  Wyt- 
tonburge,  by  Nicholas  Dorcaster,"  8vo.  signal,  b.  5.  we  have — "The  HALOW- 
ING  OF  PALMES.  \Vhen  the  Gospel  is  ended,  let  ther  follow  the  halowyng  of 
flouers  and  braunches  by  the  priest,  being  araied  with  a  redde  cope,  upon  the 
thyrde  step  of  the  Altare,  turning  him  toward  the  South  :  the  Palmes,  wyth  the 
flouers,  being  fyrst  laied  aside  upon  the  Altere  for  the  Clarkes,  and  for  the 
other  upon  the  steppe  of  the  Altere  on  the  South  syde."  Prayers : 

"  I  conjure  the,  thou  Creature  of  Flouers  and  Braunches,  in  the  name  of  God 
the  Father  Almighty,  and  in  the  name  of  Jesu  Christ  hys  sonne  our  Lord,  and 
in  the  vertue  of  the  Holy  Cost.  Therfore  be  thou  rooted  out  and  displaced  from 
this  Creature  of  Flouers  and  Braunches,  al  thou  strength  of  the  Adversary,  al 

-r . __ «- 

f  Popish  Kingdome,  fol.  5O. 


PALM    SUNDAY.  109 

thou  Host  of  the  Divell,  and  al  thou  power  of  the  enemy,  even  every  assault 
of  Divels,  that  thou  overtake  not  the  foote  steps  of  them  that  haste  unto  the 
Grace  of  God.  Thorow  him  that  shal  come  to  judge  the  quicke  and  the  deade 
and  the  world  by  fyre.  Amen." 

"Almightye  eternal  God,  who  at  the  pouring  out  of  the  floude  diddest  de- 
clare to  thy  servaunt  Noe  by  the  moutlie  of  a  dove,  hearing  an  olive-braunch, 
that  peace  was  restored  agayne  upon  earth,  we  humblye  beseche  the  that  thy 
truthe  may  ^  sanctih'e  this  Creature  of  Flouers  and  Branches,  and  slips  of 
Palmes,  or  bowes  of  trees,  which  we  offer  before  the  presence  of  thy  glory ; 
that  the  devoute  people  bearing  them  in  their  handes,  may  meryte  to  optaync 
the  grace  of  thy  benediccion.  Thorowe  Christe,"  £c. 

There  follow  other  Prayers,  in  which  occur  these  passages :  After  the 
Flowers  and  Branches  are  sprinkled  with  Holy  Water — "  Blesse  ^  and  sanc- 
tifie  ^  these  Braunches  of  Palmes,  and  other  Trees  and  Flouers" — concluding 
with  this  rubrick :  "  So  whan  these  thinges  are  fynyshed,  let  the  Palmes  im- 
mediately be  distributed  *." 

Dr.  Fulke,  on  the  part  of  the  Protestants,  has  considered  all  this  in  a  dif- 
ferent light  from  the  Rhernists.  "  Your  Palm-Sunday  Procession,"  says  he,  "was 
horrible  idolatry,  and  abusing  the  Lord's  Institution,  who  ordained  his  Supper 
to  be  eaten  and  drunken,  not  to  be  carried  about  in  procession  like  a  heathenish 
idol :  but  it  is  pretty  sport  that  you  make  the  Priests  that  carry  this  idol  to  sup- 
ply the  room  of  the  Ass  on  which  Christ  did  ride.  Thus  you  turn  the  holy  mys- 
tery of  Christ's  riding  to  Jerusalem  to  a  May-game  and  pagent-playh." 


g  See  also  Fosbrooke's  British  Monachism,  vol.  I.  p.  28 :  "I  once  knew  a  foolish,  cock-brained 
Priest,"  says  Newton,  in  his  "Herball  to  the  Bible,"  p.  207,  "which  ministered  to  a  certaine 
yoong  man  the  Ashes  of  Boxe,  being  (forsooth)  hallowed  on  Palme  Sunday,  according  to  the  su- 
perstitious order  and  doctrine  of  the  Romish  Church,  which  ashes  he  mingled  with  their  unholie 
holie  water,  using  to  the  same  a  kinde  of  fantastical!,  or  rather  fanatical),  doltish,  and  ridiculous 
exorcisme ;  which  woorthy,  worshipfull  medicine  (as  he  persuaded  the  standers  by)  had  vertue 
to  drive  away  any  ague,  and  to  kill  the  worms.  Well,  it  so  fell  out,  that  the  ague,  indeed,  was 
driven  away ;  but,  God  knoweth,  with  the  death  of  the  poore  yoong  man.  And  no  marvel!.  For 
the  leaves  of  Boxe  be  deleterious,  poisonous,  deadlie,  and  to  the  bodie  of  man  very  noisome,  dan- 
gerous, and  pestilent." 

h  Fulke  in  loc.  Mat. 


110  PALM    SUNDAY. 

It  is  still  customary  with  our  boys,  both  in  the  South1  and  North  of  Eng- 
land, to  go  out  and  gather  slips  with  the  Willow-  flowers  or  buds  at  this  time. 
These  seem  to  have  been  selected  as  substitutes  for  the  real  Palm,  because  they 
are  generally  the  only  things,  at  this  season,  which  can  be  easily  come  at,  in 
which  the  power  of  vegetation  can  be  discovered11. 

i  It  is  even  yet  a  common  practice  in  the  neighbourhood  of  London.  The  young  people  go 
a  palming;  and  the  sallow  is  sold  in  London  streets  for  the  whole  week  preceding  Palm  Sunday. 
In  the  North,  it  is  called  "going  a  palmsomng  of  palmsning." 

k  In  "A  short  Description  of  Antichrist,"  &c.  See  Herbert.  P.  1579.  is  the  following:  "They 
also,  upon  Palmes  Sonday,  lifte  up  a  cloth,  and  say,  hayle  our  Kynge !  to  a  rood  made  of  a 
wooden  blocke."  fol.  26.  At  fol.  8.  is  noted  the  popish  "hallowinge  of  Palme  Stickes." 

In  another  curious  Tract,  entitled,  "  A  Dialogue,  or  familiar  Talke,  betwene  two  neighbours, 
concernyng  the  chycfest  Ceremonyes  that  were,  by  the  might  i  power  of  God's  most  holie  pure 
\vorde  suppressed  in  Englande,  ami  nowe  for  our  unworthines  set  up  agayne  by  the  Bishoppes, 
the  Impcs  of  Antichrist,  &c.  From  Roane,  by  Michael  Wodde,  the  20  of  February,  A.D.  1554," 
(that  is,  the  first  of  Queen  Mary,)  12mo.  it  appears  that  Crosses  of  Palme  were,  in  the  papal 
times,  carried  about  in  the  purse.  These  Crosses  were  made  on  Palme  Sunday,  in  Passion  time, 
of  hallowed  Palm.  See  signal.  D.  iii.  D.  iiii. 

"  The  old  Church  kept  a  memorye  the  Sunday  before  Ester,  how  Christes  glory  was  openly  re- 
ceived and  acknowledged  among  the  Jewes,  when  they  met  him  with  Date-tree  bowes,  and  other 
faire  bowes,  and  confessed  that  he  was  the  sonne  of  God. — And  the  Gospel  declaring  the  same 
was  apointed  to  be  read  on  that  day.  But  nowe  our  blind  leaders  of  the  blind  toke  away  the 
knowledge  of  this,  with  their  Latine  processioning,  so  that,  among  x.  thousande,  scarce  one  knew 
what  this  meat.  They  have  their  laudable  dumme  Ceremonies,  with  Lenten  Crosse  and  Uptide 
Crosse,  and  these  two  must  justle,  til  Lent  breake  his  necke.  Then  cakes  must  be  cast  out  of  the 
steple,  that  all  the  boyes  in  the  parish  must  lie  scambling  together  by  the  eares,  tyl  al  the  parish 
falleth  a  laughyng."  Signat.  D.  iii. 

"  But  lorde  what  ape's-play  made  they  of  it  in  great  cathedral  churches  and  abbies. — One  comes 
furth  in  his  albe  and  his  long  stole,  (for  so  they  call  their  girde  that  they  put  about  theyr  neckes,) 
thys  must  beleashe  wise,  as  hunters  weares  their  homes. — This  solempne  Syre  played  Christes  part, 
a  God's  name.  Then  another  companye  of  singers,  chyldren  and  al,  song,  in  pricksong,  the 
Jewe's  part — and  the  Deacon  read  the  middel  text.  The  Prest  at  the  Alter  al  this  while,  because 
it  was  tediouse  to  be  unoccupyed,  made  Crosses  of  Palme  to  set  upon  your  doors,  and  to  beare  in 
your  purses,  to  chace  away  the  Divel." 

"  Hath  not  our  spiritualtie  well  ordered  this  matter  (trow  ye)  to  turne  the  reading  and  preach- 
ing of  Christes  Passion  into  such  wel  favoured  Pastymes  ?  But  tell  me,  Nicholas,  hath  not  thy 
wyfe  a  Crosse  of  Palme  aboute  her  ?  (Nich.)  Yes,  in  her  purse.  (Oliver  J  And  agoon  felowshippe 
tel  me,  thinckest  thou  not  sometyme,  the  Devil  is  in  her  toungue  ?  Syghe  not  man.  (Nich.)  I 
wold  she  heard  you,  you  might  fortune  to  finde  him  in  her  tong  and  fist  both.  (Oliver.J  Then  I 


PALM  SONDAY.  II  1 

"  Upon  Palm  Sunday,"  says  Carew,  in  his  Survey  of  Cornwall,  p.  144,  "  at 
our  Lady  Nant's  Well,  at  Little  Colan,  idle-headed  seekers  resorted,  with  a 
Palm  Crosse  in  one  hand  and  an  Offering  in  the  other.  The  Offering  fell  to 
the  priest's  share,  the  Cross  they  threw  into  the  Well,  which  if  it  swamme,  the 
party  should  outlive  that  yeare ;  if  it  sunk,  a  short  ensuing  death  was  boded, 


se  wel  he  cometh  not  in  her  purse,  because  the  holi  palme  Crosse  is  ther;  but  if  thou  couldest  in- 
treate  her  to  beare  a  crosse  in  her  mouth,  then  he  would  not  come  there  neither." 

The  ceremony  of  bearing  Palms  on  Palm  Sunday  was  retained  in  England  after  some  others 
were  dropped,  and  was  one  of  those  which  Henry  VIII.  in  1536,  declared  were  not  to  be  con- 
temned and  cast  away.  In  the  first  volume  of  Proclamations,  &c.  folio,  preserved  in  the  Library 
of  the  Society  of  Antiquaries  of  London,  p.  138,  is  an  original  Proclamation,  printed  and  dated 
26th  February  30  Henry  VIII.  "  concernyng  Rites  and  Ceremonies  to  be  used  in  due  fourme  in 
the  Churche  of  Englande,"  wherein  occurs  the  following  clause:  "  On  Palme  Sonday  it  shall  be 
declared  that  bearing  of  Palmes  renueth  the  memorie  of  the  receivinge  of  Christe  in  lyke  maner 
into  Jerusalem  before  his  deathe."  In  Fuller's  Church  History,  also,  p.  222,  we  read  that  "  bear- 
ing of  Palms  on  Palm  Sunday  is  in  memory  of  the  receiving  of  Christ  into  Hierusalem  a  little 
before  his  death,  and  that  we  may  have  the  same  desire  to  receive  him  into  our  hearts."  Wheat- 
ley,  from  Collier,  informs  us,  that  Palms  were  used  to  be  borne  here  with  us  till  2  Edward  VI. ; 
and  the  Rhemish  Translators  of  the  New  Testament  mention  also  the  bearing  of  Palms  on  this 
day  in  their  country  when  it  was  Catholic. 

A  similar  interpretation  of  this  ceremony  to  that  given  in  King  Henry  the  Eighth's  Procla- 
mation, occurs  in  Bishop  Bonner's  Injunctions,  4to,  1555,  signal.  A  2.  "To  cary  their  Palmes 
discreatlye,"  is  among  the  Roman  Catholic  Customs  censured  by  John  Bale  in  his  Declaration  of 
Bonner's  Articles,  1554,  signal.  D.  b.  as  is,  ibid.  D.  2  b.  "  to  conjure  Palmes."  In  Howes's  edition 
of  Stowe's  Chronicle,  it  is  stated,  under  the  year  1548,  that  "  this  yeere  the  ceremony  of  bearing 
of  Palmes  on  Palme  Sonday  was  left  off,  and  not  used  as  before."  That  the  remembrance  of  this 
custom,  however,  was  not  lost  is  evident.  In  "  Articles  to  be  enquired  of  within  the  Archdeaconry 
of  Yorke,  by  the  Churche  Wardens  andsworne  men,  A.  D.  163  + "  (any  year  till  1640),  4to,  Lond. 
b.  1.  I  find  the  following,  alluding,  it  should  seem,  both  to  this  day  and  Holy  Thursday. — "  Whether 
there  be  any  superstitious  use  of  Crosses  with  Towels,  Palmes,  Metwands,  or  other  memories  of  ido- 
laters." Mr.  Douce's  MS  Notes  say  :  "I  have  somewhere  met  with  a  proverbial  saying,  that  he 
that  hath  not  a  Palm  in  his  hand  on  Palm  Sunday  must  have  his  hand  cut  off." 

In  "  Yet  a  Course  at  the  Romishe  Foxe ;  a  Dysclosynge  or  Openynge  of  the  Manne  of  Synne, 
contayned  in  the  late  Declaration  of  the  Pope's  olde  Faythe  made  by  Edmonde  Boner,  Byshopp  of 
London,  &c.  by  Johan  Harryson :  [J.  Bale:]  printed  at  Zurik  A.D.  1542,"  8vo,  signat.  D4,  the 
author  enumerates  some  "  auncyent  rytes  and  lawdable  ceremonyes  of  holy  ehurche,"  then  it 
should  seem  laid  aside,  in  the  following  censure  of  the  Bishop  :  "  Than  ought  my  Lorde  also  to 
suffre  the  same  selfe  ponnyshment  for  not  rostyng  egges  in  the  Palme  ashes  fyre,"  &c. 


112  PALM    SUNDAY. 

and  perhaps  not  altogether  untruly,  while  a  foolish  conceyt  of  this  halsenyng 
might  the  sooner  help  it  onwards." 

The  Russians  (of  the  Greek  Church)  have  a  very  solemn  procession  on  Palm 

Sunday. 

In  "  Dives  and  Pauper,"  cap.  iv.  on  the  first  commandment,  we  read  :  "  On  Palme  Sondaye  at 
procession  the  priest  drawith  up  the  veyle  before  the  rode.,  and  falleth  down  to  the  ground  with  all 
the  people,  and  saith  thrice,  Ave  Rex  Noster,  Hayle  be  thou  our  King. — He  speketh  not  to  the 
image  that  the  carpenter  hath  made,  and  the  peinter  painted,  but  if  the  priest  be  a  fole,  for  that 
stock  or  stone  was  never  King;  but  he  speakethe  to  hym  that  died  on  the  crosse  for  us  all,  to  him 
that  is  Kynge  of  all  thynge."  p.  15  b. 

In  the  Churchwardens  Accounts  of  St.  Mary  at  Hill  in  the  city  of  London,  from  the  17th  to  tha 
1 9i  h  year  of  King  Ed  w.  IV.  I  find  the  following  entry :  Box  and  Palm  on  Palm  Sunday,  1 2d."  And, 
ibid,  among  the  annual  Church  disbursements,  the  subsequent :  "  Palm,  Box,  Cakes,  and  Flowers, 
Palm  Sunday  Eve,  Sd."  Ibid.  I486':  "Item,  for  fiowrs,  obleyes,  and  for  Box  and  Palme  ayenst 
Palm  Sondaye,  6d."  Ibid.  1493 :  "  For  settyug  up  the  frame  over  the  porch  on  Palme  Sonday 
E\e,  G'</."  Ibid.  1531 :  "  Paid  for  the  hire  of  the  Rayment  for  the  Prophets,  12d.  and  of  Clothes 
of  Aras  Is.  4d.  for  Palm  Sunday."  Nichols's  "  Illustrations  of  the  Manners  and  Expences  of 
Antient  Times." — In  Coates's  History  of  Reading,  p.  216',  Churchwardens  Accounts  of  St.  Lau- 
rence parish,  1505  :  "  It.  payed  to  the  Clerk  for  syngyng  of  the  Passion  on  Palme  Sunday,  in  ale, 
Id."  P.  217.  1509.  "  It.  payed  for  a  q'rt  of  bastard,  for  the  singers  of  the  Passhyon  on  Palme  Son- 
daye, iiijd."  P.  221.  1541.  "  Payd  to  Loreman  for  playing  the  P'phett  (Prophet)  on  Palme  Son- 
day,  iiijd." 

Among  Dr.  Griffith's  Extracts  from  the  old  Books  of  St.  Andrew  Hubbard's  parish,  I  found :  1 524-5. 
"  To  James  Walker,  for  making  clene  the  churchyard  ag'st  Palm  Sonday,  Id."  Ibid.  "  On  Palm 
Sonday,  for  Palm,  Cakes,  and  Fiowrs,  fid.  ob."  1526-7.  "  The  here  of  the  Angel  on  Palme  Sonday, 
8d."  "  Clothes  at  the  Tow'r  on  Palme  Sonday,  6d."  1535 — 7.  "  For  Brede,  Wyn,  and  Oyle,  on 
Palm  Sonday,  Gil."  "  A  Freest  and  Chylde  that  playde  a  Messenger,  Sd."  1538 — 40.  "  Rec'd  in 
the  Church  of  the  Players,  Is."  "  Pd  for  syngyng  bread,  2d."  "  For  the  Aungel,  4d." 

In  Mr.  Lysons's  Environs  of  London,  vol.  I.  p.  231,  among  his  curious  Extracts  from  the 
Churchwardens  and  Chamberlains  Accounts  at  Kingston  upon  Thames  occurs  the  following: 
"  1  Hen.  VIII.  For  Ale  upon  Palm  Sonday  on  syngyng  of  the  Passion  sS.O.  Os.  Id. 


113 


ALL  FOOLS  DAY. 
(First  of  April.) 

"  Hunc  Joaa        —        —        mensem 
Vindicat ;  hunc  Risus  et  tinefelle  sales." 

Bu  CHAN  AH. 

"APRIL  with  Fools,  and  May  with  bastards  blest." 

CHURCHILL. 

"  While  April  morn  her  Folly's  throne  exalts ; 
While  Dob  calls  Nell,  and  laughs  because  she  halts ; 
While  Nell  meets  Tom,  and  says  his  tail  is  loose, 
Then  laughs  in  turn,  and  calls  poor  Thomas  goose ; 
Let  us,  my  Muse,  thro'  Folly's  harvest  range, 
And  glean  some  Moral  into  Wisdom's  grange." 

Verses  on  several  Occasions,  8vo,  Lond.  1782,  p.  50. 

A  CUSTOM,  says  "  The  Spectator,"  prevails  every  where  among  us  on  the 
first  of  April,  when  every  body  strives  to  make  as  many  Fools  as  he  can  a.   The 

a  I  find  in  Poor  Robin's  Almanack  for  176O  a  metrical  description  of  the  modern  fooleries  on 
the  1st  of  April,  with  the  open  avowal  of  being  ignorant  of  their  origin. 
"  The  first  of  April,  some  do  say, 
Is  set  apart  for  Mi-Fools'  Day; 
But  why  the  people  call  it  so, 
Nor  I,  nor  they  themselves  do  know. 
But  on  this  day  are  people  sent 
On  purpose,  for  pure  merriment ; 
And  though  the  day  is  known  before. 
Yet  frequently  there  is  great  store 
Of  these  Forgetfuls  to  be  found, 
Who  're  sent  to  dance  Moll  Dixon't  round  i 
And,  having  tried  each  shop  and  stall. 
And  disappointed  at  them  all, 
At  last  some  tells  them  of  the  cheat 
Then  they  return  from  the  pursuit, 
VOL.  I.  Q, 


114  ALL    FOOLS    DAY. 

wit  chiefly  consists  in  sending  persons  on  what  are  called  sleeveless  errands b, 


And  straightway  home  with  shame  they  run, 
And  others  laugh  at  what  is  done. 
But  'tis  a  thing  to  be  disputed,  • 
Which  is  the  greatest  Fool  reputed, 
The  man  that  innocently  went, 
Or  he  that  him  design'dly  sent. 

The  following  curious  passage  was  communicated  by  the  Rev.  W.  Walter,  Fellow  of  Christ's  Col- 
lege, Cambridge  :  Ala  TI  ra.  KujwaXia  MfiPQN  EOPTHN  oxofta^outriy ;  ti  on  Triv  tiftrjay  fa,v\nt  aTriJs^Wfmxv 
(w;  Iiuoaf  <f>n<7j)  1015  T«{  aurnv  $*T{i«j  «yvoso-»v  •  «  TOIJ  juw  (Waoiv,  <UOTTE{  01  Xowoi,  XX.TO,  Qv\a,s  ev  TOI,-  cpajva- 
xaXtc<s,  &'  ao^oAiav  "  BWeSfl/**"'  "'  «yoi«»  f^oSi  TH  tjjutpa  T«'JT*I  T»IV  K>f7»»  EXSIVDV  cwroXafestv.  That  is  j  "  Why 
do  they  call  the  Quirinalia  the  Feast  of  Fools  ?  Either,  because  they  allowed  this  day  (as  Juba  tella 
us)  to  those  who  could  not  ascertain  their  own  tribes,  or  because  they  permitted  those  who  had 
missed  the  celebration  of  the  Fornacalia  in  their  proper  tribes,  along  with  the  rest  of  the  people, 
either  out  of  negligence,  absence,  or  ignorance,  to  hold  their  festival  apart  on  this  day."  Plu. 
Quaest.  Rom.  Opera,  cum  Xylandri  notis,  fol.  Franc.  1599,  torn.  ii.  p.  285. 

The  Quirinalia  were  observed  in  honour  of  Romulus  on  the  1 1th  of  the  kal.  of  March  ;  that  is, 
the  19th  of  February.  The  Fornacalia,  instituted  by  Numa,  in  honour  of  the  God  Fornax,  were 
held  on  the  12th  of  the  kal.  of  March,  i.  e.  on  the  18th  of  February. 

b  In  "  John  Heywood's  Workes,"  4to,  Lond.  1566,  signal.  B  3.  b.  I  find  the  following  couplet : 
"  And  one  mornyng  timely  he  tooke  in  hande 
To  make  to  my  house  a  sleeveles  errande." 

Skinner  guesses  this  to  mean  a  lifeless  errand.  I  am  not  satisfied  with  his  etymon,  which  is 
merely  conjectural,  and  for  which  he  does  not  venture  to  assign  any  cause.  This  epithet  is  found 
in  Chaucer.  The  following  passage,  which  1  extract  from  Whitlock's  Zuotomia,  &c.  8vo,  Loud. 
1654,  p.  360,  seems  to  explain  it.  "  But,  secondly,  the  more  subtle  (and  more  hard  to  sleave  a 
two)  silken  thred  of  self-seeking,  is  that  dominion  over  consciences,"  &c.  The  meaning  of  the  ex- 
pression "  to  sleave  a  two"  appears  plainly  to  be  "  to  untwist  or  unfold;"  q.  d.  The  silken  thread  is 
so  subtle  or  fine,  that  it  is  very  difficult  to  untwist  it.  "  Sleeveless,"  then,  should  seem  to  mean 
(as  every  one  knows  that  "  less"  final  is  negation,)  that  which  cannot  be  unfolded  or  explained,  an 
epithet  which  perfectly  agrees  with  the  errands  of  which  we  are  speaking. 

The  word  is  used  by  Bishop  Hall  in  his  Satires  : 

"  Worse  than  the  logogryphes  of  later  times, 

Or  hundreth  riddles  shak'd  to  sleevelesse  rhymes."  B.  iv.  Sat.  1. 

In  Whimzies  :  or  a  new  Cast  of  Characters,  12mo,  Lond.  1631,  p.  83,  speaking  of  "  a  Laun- 
derer,"  the  author  says :  "  Shee  is  a  notable,  witty,  tailing  titmouse ;  and  can  make  twenti* 
skevelesse  errands  in  hope  of  a  good  turne." 


ALT-  FOOLS    DAY.  1  IS 

for  the  History  of  Eve's  Mother r  for  Pigeon's  Milk,  with  similar  ridiculous 

absurdities0.     He  takes  no  notice  of  the  rise  of  this  singular  kind  of  Anni- 
versary. 


c  In  Ward's  "  Wars  of  the  Elements,  &c."  8vo,  Lond.  1708,  p.  55,  in  his  Epitaph  on  the  French 
Prophet,  who  was  to  make  his  resurrection  on  the  25th  May,  he  says : 

"  O'  th'  first  of  April  had  the  scene  been  laid, 

I  should  have  laugh' d  to've  seen  the  living  made 

Such  April  Fools  and  blockheads  by  the  Dead." 

Dr.  Goldsmith,  also,  in  his  Vicar  of  Wakefield,  describing  the  manners  of  some  rustics,  tells  us, 
that,  among  other  customs  which  they  followed,  they  "  shewed  their  wit  on  the  first  of  April." 
So,  in  "  The  First  of  April,  or  Triumphs  of  Folly,"  4to,  Lond.  1777: 

"  'Twos  on  the  morn  when  April  doth  appear, 

And  wets  the  primrose  with  its  maiden  tear ; 

'Twas  on  the  morn  when  laughing  Folly  rules, 

And  calls  her  sons  around,  and  dubs  them  Fools, 

Bids  them  be  bold,  some  untry'd  path  explore, 

And  do  such  deeds  as  Fools  ne'er  did  before  " 

A  late  ingenious  writer  in  the  World  (No.  10),  if  1  mistake  not,  the  late  Earl  of  Orford,  has 
tome  pleasant  thoughts  on  the  effect  the  alteration  of  the  stile  would  have  on  the  First  of  April. 
"  The  oldest  tradition  affirms  that  such  an  infatuation  attends  the  first  day  of  April,  as  no  foresight 
can  escape,  no  vigilance  can  defeat.  Deceit  is  successful  on  that  day  out  of  the  mouths  of  babes 
and  sucklings.  Grave  citizens  have  been  bit  upon  it :  usurers  have  lent  their  money  on  bad  se- 
curity: experienced  matrons  have  married  very  disappointing  young  fellows  :  mathematicians  have 
missed  the  longitude :  alchymists  the  philosopher's  stone :  and  politicians  preferment  on  that  day." 
— Our  pleasant  writer  goes  on. — "  What  confusion  will  not  follow  if  the  great  body  of  the  nation 
are  disappointed  of  their  peculiar  holiday.  This  country  was  formerly  disturbed  with  very  fatal 
quarrels  about  the  celebration  of  Easter ;  and  no  wise  man  will  tell  me  that  it  is  not  as  reasonable 
to  fall  out  for  the  observance  of  April- Fool-Day.  Can  any  benefits  arising  from  a  regulated  Ca- 
lendar make  amends  for  an  occasion  of  new  sects  ?  How  many  warm  men  may  resent  an  attempt 
to  play  them  off  on  a  false  first  of  April,  who  would  have  submitted  to  the  custom  of  being  made 
fools  on  the  old  computation  ?  If  our  clergy  come  to  be  divided  about  Folly's  anniversary,  we  may 
well  expect  all  the  mischiefs  attendant  on  religious  wars."  He  then  desires  his  friends  to  inform' 
him  what  they  observe  on  that  holiday  both  according  to  the  new  and  old  reckoning.  "  How  often 
and  in  what  manner  they  make  or  are  made  fools :  how  they  miscarry  in  attempts  to  surprize,  or 
baffle  any  snares  laid  for  them.  I  do  not  doubt  but  it  will  be  found  that  the  balance  of  folly  lies 
greatly  on  the  side  of  the  old  first  of  April ;  nay,  I  much  question  whether  infatuation  will  have 
any  force  on  what  I  calFthe  false  April  Fool  Day :"  and  concludes  with  requesting  an  union  of  en- 
deavours "  in  decrying  and  exploding  a  reformation,  which  only  tends  to  discountenance  good  old 
practices  and  venerable  superstitions."  I  never  remember  to  have  met  with  an  happier  display  of  irony. 


116  ALL    FOOLS    DAY. 

The  French  too  have  their  All  Fools  Day,  and  call  the  person  imposed  upon 
"  an  April  Fish,"  "  Poisson  d'Avril"  whom  we  term  an  April  fool.  Bellingen, 
in  his  Etymology  of  French  Proverbs,  endeavours  at  the  following  explanation 
of  this  custom d:  the  word  "Poisson"  he  contends  is  corrupted  through  the 


d  "  Dormer  du  poisson  d'  Avril"  signifies  to  cheat  or  play  the  fool  with  any  one.  See  JLeroux 
Dictionaire  Comique,  torn.  i.  p.  70. 

"  Et  si  n'y  a  ne  danger  ne  peril 

Mais  j'en  seray  vostre  poisson  d'Avril." 

Poesies  de  Pierre  Michault.  Goujet  Biblioth.  Fran§.  torn.  ix.  p.  351. 

The  passage  in  Bellingen  is  as  follows  :  "  Quant  au  mot  de  poisson,  il  a  esle  corrumpu,  comme 
line  infinite  d'autres,  par  1'ignorance  du  vulgaire,  et  la  longueur  du  temps  a  presque  efface  la  me- 
moire  du  terme  originel ;  car  au  lieu  qu'on  dit  presentment  Poisson  on  a  (lit  Passion  des  le  com- 
mencement ;  parceque  la  passion  du  Sauveur  du  Monde  est  arrivee  environ  ce  Temps  la,  et  d'autant- 
que  que  les  Juifs  Jirent  faire  diverse  Courses  i  Jesus  Christ,  pour  se  moquer  de  luy  if  pour  lay  faire  de 
la  peine,  le  renroyans  d'Anne  d  Ca'tphe,  de  CaJphe  ii  Pilate,  de  Pilate  h  Htrode,  et  d'  Herode  a  Pilate, 
on  a  pris  cette  ridicule  ou  plustost  impie  Couslume  de  faire  courir  et  de  renvoyer  d'un  end-roil  a.  I'autre, 
ceux  desquels  on  se  veut  inoqucr  environ  cts  jours  fe."  L'Etymologie  ou  Explication  dcs  Proverbes 
Fran£ois  par  Fleury  de  Bellingin.  8vo,  a  La  Haye,  1656,  p.  34. 

Minshew  renders  the  expression  "Poisson  d'Avril,"  a  young  bawd;  a  page  turned  pandar;  a 
mackerel! ;  which  is  thus  explained  by  Bellingen  :  "  Je  s^ay  que  la  plus  part  du  monde  ignorant 
cette  raison,  1'attribne  &  une  autre  cause,  &  que  parceque  les  man-hands  de  chair  humaine,  ou  cour- 
tiers de  Venus,  sont  deputez  a  faire  de  messages  d' Amour,  If  courtnt  de  part  et  d'autre  pour  faire  lew 
infame  traffic,  on  prend  aussy  plaitir  a  faire  courir  ceux  qu'on  choisit  d  cejour  la  pour  objtt  de  raille- 
rie,  comme  si  on  leur  vouloit  faire  exercer  ce  mestier  lionteux."  Ibid.  He  then  confesses  his  igno- 
rance why  the  month  of  April  is  selected  for  this  purpose,  unless,  says  he,  "  on  account  of  its 
being  the  season  for  catching  mackerel!,  or  that  men,  awaking  from  the  torpidity  of  the  winter 
season,  are  particularly  influenced  by  the  passions,  which  suddenly  breaking  forth  from  a  long 
slumber,  excite  them  to  the  pursuit  of  their  wonted  pleasures."  This  may  perhaps  account  for 
the  origin  of  the  word  "  macquereau"  in  its  obscene  sense.  The  substance  of  the  above  remarks 
is  given  also  in  the  "  Nouveau  Dictionnaire  d'Anecdotes,"  torn.  ii.  p.  97,  with  an  additional  reason 
not  worth  transcribing. 

A  writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  also,  vol.  L1II.  for  July  1783,  p.  578,  conjectures  that 
"  the  custom  of  imposing  upon  and  ridiculing  people  on  the  first  of  April  may  have  an  allusion  to 
the  mockery  of  the  Saviour  of  the  World  by  the  Jews.  Something  like  this,  which  we  call  making 
April  Fools,  is  practised  also  abroad  in  Catholic  countries  on  Innocents'  Day,  on>  which  occasion 
people  run  through  all  the  rooms,  making  a  pretended  search  in  and  under  the  beds,  in  memory, 
I  believe,  of  the  search  made  by  Herod  for  the  discovery  and  destruction  of  the  child  Jesus,  and 
his  having  been  imposed  upon  and  deceived  by  the  Wise  Men,  who,  contrary  to  his  orders  and  ex- 
pectation, '  returned  to  their  own  country  another  way.' " 


ALL    FOOLS    DAY.  H'7 

ignorance  of  the  people  from  "  Passion  ;"  and  length  of  time  has  almost  totally 
defaced  the  original  intention,  which  was  as  follows :  that,  as  the  Passion  of  our 
Saviour  took  place  about  this  time  of  the  year,  and  as  the  Jews  sent  Christ 
backwards  and  forwards  to  mock  and  torment  him,  i.  e.  from  Annas  to  Caiaphas, 
from  Caiaphas  to  Pilate,  from  Pilate  to  Herod,  and  from  Herod  back  again  to 
Pilate,  this  ridiculous  or  rather  impious  custom  took  its  rise  from  thence,  by 
which  we  send  about  from  one  place  to  another  such  persons  as  we  think  proper 
objects  of  our  ridicule.  Such  is  13ellingen's  explanation. 

Calling  this  "  All  Fools  Day"  seems  to  denote  it  to  be  a  different  day  from 
"  the  Feast  of  Fools,"  which  was  held  on  the  1  st  of  January,  of  which  a  very 
particular  description  may  be  found  in  Du  Cange's  learned  Glossary,  under  the 
word  Kalendac.  And  I  am  inclined  to  think  the  word  "  All"  here  is  a  corrup- 
tion of  our  Northern  word  "  auld"e  for  old;  because  I  find  in  the  antient  Ro- 
mish Calendar  which  I  have  so  often  cited  mention  made  of  a  "  Feast  of  old 
Fools."  It  must  be  granted  that  this  Feast  stands  there  on  the  first  day  of 
another  month,  November;  but  then  it  mentions  at  the  same  time  that  it  is  by 
a  removal. — "  The  Feast  of  old  Fools  is  removed  to  this  dayf."  Such  removals 
indeed  in  the  very  crouded  Romish  Calendar  were  often  obliged  to  be  made. 

There  is  nothing  hardly,  says  the  author  of  the  Essay  to  retrieve  the  antient 
Celtic,  that  will  bear  a  clearer  demonstration  than  that  the  primitive  Christians, 
by  way  of  conciliating  the  Pagans  to  a  better  worship,  humoured  their  prejudices 
by  yielding  to  a  conformity  of  names',  and  even  of  customs,  where  they  did  not 
essentially  interfere  with  the  fundamentals  of  the  Gospel  doctrine.  This  was 
done  in  order  to  quiet  their  possession,  and  to  secure  their  tenure :  an  admirable 
expedient,  and  extremely  fit  in  those  barbarous  times  to  prevent  the  people  from 
returning  to  their  old  religion.  Among  these,  in  imitation  of  the  Roman  Satur- 
nalia, was  the  Festum  Fatuorum,  when  part  of  the  jollity  of  the  season  was  a 
burlesque  election  of  a  mock  Pope,  mock  Cardinals,  mock  Bishops h,  attended 

«  Auldborough  in  Yorkshire  is  always  pronounced  .^borough,  though  the  meaning  of  the  first 
syllable  is  undoubtedly  old. 

*  "  Festum  Stultorum  veterum  hue  translatum  est." 

g  This  writer  contends  that  the  antient  Druidical  religion  of  Britain  and  the  Gauls  had  its  Pope, 
its  Cardinals,  its  Bishops,  its  Deacons,  &c. 

h  ANDREW,  says  this  Writer,  signifies  a  head  Druid,  or  Divine.  Hence  it  was  that,  when  the 
Christians,  by  way  of  exploding  the  Druids,  turned  them  into  ridicule,  in  their  Feast  or  Holiday 


US  ALL    FOOLS    DAT. 

with  a  thousand  ridiculous  and  indecent  ceremonies,  gambols,  and  antics,  such 
as  singing  and  dancing  in  the  churches,  in  lewd  attitudes,  to  ludicrous  anthems, 
all  allusively  to  the  exploded  pretensions  of  the  Druids,  whom  these  sports  were 
calculated  to  expose  to  scorn  and  derision. 

This  Feast  of  Fools,  continues  he,  had  its  designed  effect ;  and  contributed, 
perhaps,  more  to  the  extermination  of  those  heathens  than  all  the  collateral  aids 
of  fire  and  sword,  neither  of  which  were  spared  in  the  persecution  of  them.  The 
Continuance  of  customs  (especially  droll  ones,  which  suit  the  gross  taste  of  the 
multitude)  after  the  original  cause  of  them  has  ceased,  is  a  great,  but  no  un- 
common absurdity. 

Our  epithet  of  Old  Fools  (in  the  Northern  and  old  English  auld)  does  not  ill 
accord  with  the  pictures  of  Druids  transmitted  to  us.  The  united  appearance 
of  age,  sanctity,  and  wisdom,  which  these  antient  priests  assumed,  doubtless 
contributed  in  no  small  degree  to  the  deception  of  the  people.  The  Christian 
Teachers,  in  their  labours  to  undeceive  the  fettered  multitudes,  would  probably 
spare  no  pains  to  pull  oft'  the  masks  from  these  venerable  hypocrites,  and  point 
out  to  their  converts  that  age  was  not  always  synonimous  with  wisdom ;  that 


of  Fools,  one  of  the  buffoon  personages  was  "  a  Merry  Andrew."  This  name  is  usually,  but  as 
erroneously,  as  it  should  seem  from  this  Writer's  explication,  derived  from  the  Greek,  where  it 
signifies  manly  or  courageous.  From  the  contrarieties  in  the  definitions  of  Etymologists,  Philology 
sec-ins  but  too  justly  to  bear  the  reproachful  title  of  "  Eruditio  ad  libitum  ;"  science  that  we  may 
twist  and  turn  at  our  pleasure. 

Mr.  Pennant,  in  his  Zoology,  vol.  III.  p.  342,  edit.  Svo.  Lond.  1776,  tells  us  :  "It  is  very  sin- 
gular that  most  nations  give  the  name  of  their  favourite  dish  to  the  facetious  attendant  on  every 
mountebank;  thus  the  Dutch  call  him  Pickle  Herring;  the -Italians  Macaroni;  the  French  Jean 
Potage;  the  Germans  Hans  H'urst,  i.e.  Jack  Sausage;  and  we  dignify  him  with  the  title  of  Jack 
Pudding." 

Hearne,  in  his  Appendix  to  the  Preface  of  "  Bencdictus  Abbas  Petroburgensis  de  Vita  &  Gestis 
Hen.  II.  et  Ric.  I."  p.  51,  speaking  of  the  famous  Dr.  Andrew  Borde,  says,  "  'Twas  from  the 
Doctor's  method  of  using  such  speeches  at  markets  and  fairs,  that,  in  after  times,  those  that  imi- 
tated the  like  humourous,  jocose  language,  were  stiled  Merry  Andrews,  a  term  much  in  vogue  on 
our  Stages."  He  tells  us  before,  p.  50,  "  Dr.  Borde  was  an  ingenious  man,  and  knew  how  to  humour 
and  please  his  patients,  readers,  and  auditors.  In  his  travels  and  visits  he  often  appeared  and 
spoke  in  public,  and  would  often  frequent  markets  and  fairs,  where  a  conflux  of  people  used  to 
get  together,  to  whom  he  prescribed,  and,  to  induce  them  to  flock  thither  the  more  readily,  he 
would  niake  humourous  speeches,  couch'd  in  such  language  as  caused  mirth,  and  wonderfully 
propagated  his  fame."  He  died  in  1549. 


ALL    FOOLS    DAY.  119 

youth  was  net  the  peculiar  period  of  folly ;  but  that,  together  with  young  ones, 
there  were  also  old  (auld)  Fools. 

Should  the  above  be  considered  as  a  forced  interpretation',  it  can  be  offered 
in  apology  that,  in  joining  the  scattered  fragments  that  survive  the  mutilation  of 
antient  customs,  we  must  be  forgiven  if  all  the  parts  are  not  found  closely  to 
agree.  Little  of  the  means  of  information  has  been  transmitted  to  us  ;  and  that 
little  can  only  be  eked  out  by  conjecture k. 

1  I  have  sometimes  thought,  (but  what  end  is  there  to  our  vague  thoughts  and  conjectures  ?) 
that  the  obsolete  sports  of  the  antieut  Hoc-tide,  an  old  Saxon  word,  said  to  import  "the  time  of 
scorning  or  triumphing,"  which  must  have  been  observed  about  this  time  of  the  year,  might 
have  degenerated  into  the  April  Fooleries.  But  I  find  no  authority  for  this  supposition.  If 
I  were  asked  to  turn  this  "  Fools-day"  into  Latin,  methinks  it  could  not  be  more  aptly  ren- 
dered than  by  "  Dies  irrisorius  :"  and  so  I  find  some  of  our  best  Antiquaries  translate  the  Saxon 
Jjucx  bsj. 

k  In  the  British  Apollo,  fol.  Lond.  1708.  vol.  I.  No.  1.  Supernumerary  Monthly  Paper  for  the 
month  of  April,  is  the  following  query  :  "Whence  proceeds  the  custom  of  making  April  Fools  ? 
Answer. — It  may  not  improperly  be  derived  from  a  memorable  transaction  happening  between  the 
Romans  and  Sabines,  mentioned  by  Dionysius,  which  was  thus :  the  Romans,  about  the  infancy 
of  the  city,  wanting  wives,  and  finding  they  could  not  obtain  the  neighbouring  women  by  their 
peaceable  addresses,  resolved  to  make  use  of  a  stratagem;  and,  accordingly,  Romulus  institutes 
certain  Games,  to  be  performed  in  the  beginning  of  April  (according  to  the  Roman  Calendar), 
in  honour  of  Neptune.  Upon  notice  thereof,  the  bordering  inhabitants,  with  their  whole  fami- 
lies, flocked  to  Rome  to  see  this  mighty  celebration ;  where  the  Romans  seized  upon  a  great 
number  of  the  Sabine  virgins,  and  ravished  them,  which  imposition  we  suppose  may  be  ihe  founda- 
tion of  this  foolish  custom."  This  solution  is  ridiculed  in  No.  18.  of  the  same  work,  as  follows : 

"  Ye  witty  Sparks,  who  make  pretence 
To  answer  questions  with  good  sense, 
How  comes  it  that  your  monthly  Phcebus 
Is  made  a  Fool  by  Dionysius  : 
For  had  the  Sabines,  as  t  hey  came, 
Departed  with  their  virgin  fame, 
The  Romans  had  been  styl'd  dull  tools, 
And  they,  poor  girls  !  been  April  Fools. 
Therefore,  if  this  be  n't  out  of  season, 
Pray  think,  and  give  a  better  reason." 

The  following  is  from  the  Gentleman's  Magazine,  vol.  XXXVI.  for  April  1766,  p.  186,  with  the 
signature  of  T.  Row  : 

"  It  is  matter  of  some  difficulty  to  account  for  the  expression,  '  an  April  Fool,'  and  the  strange 


120  ALL    FOOLS    DAY. 

The  custom  of  making  Fools  on  the  1st  of  April  prevails  among  the  Swedes1. 
In  Toreen's  Voyage  to  China,  he  says  :  "  We  set  sail  on  the  1st  of  April,  and 
the  wind  made  April  Fools  of  us,  for  we  were  forced  to  return  before  Shagen, 
and  to  anchor  at  Riswopol." 

custom  so  universally  prevalent  throughout  this  kingdom,  of  peoples  making  fools  of  one  another, 
on  the  first  of  April,  by  trying  to  impose  upon  each  other,  and  sending  one  another,  upon  that 
day,  upon  frivolous,  ridiculous,  and  absurd  errands.  However,  something  I  have  to  offer  on  the 
subject,  and  I  shall  here  throw  it  out,  if  it  were  only  to  induce  others  to  give  us  their  sentiments. 
The  custom,  no  doubt,  had  an  original,  and  one  of  a  very  general  nature  j  and,  therefore,  one 
may  very  reasonably  hope  that,  though  one  person  may  not  be  so  happy  as  to  investigate  the  mean- 
ing and  occasion  of  it,  yet  another  possibly  may.  But  I  am  the  more  ready  to  attempt  a  solution 
of  this  difficulty,  because  I  find  Mr.  Bourne,  in  his  '  Antiquitates  Vulgares,'  has  totally  omitted 
it,  though  it  fell  so  plainly  within  the  compass  of  his  design.  I  observe,  first,  that  this  custom 
and  expression  has  no  connection  at  all  with  the  Festum  Hypodiaconorum ,  Festum  Stultorum,  Fes- 
turn  Fatuorum,  Festum  Itinocentium,  &c.  mentioned  in  Du  Fresne  ;  for  these  jocular  festivals  were 
kept  at  a  very  different  time  of  the  year.  Secondly,  that  I  have  found  no  traces,  either  of  the 
name  or  of  the  custom,  in  other  countries,  insomuch  that  it  appears  to  me  to  be  an  indigcnal 
custom  of  our  own.  I  speak  only  as  to  myself  in  this ;  for  others,  perhaps,  may  have  discovered 
it  in  other  parts,  though  I  have  not.  Now,  thirdly,  to  account  for  it ;  the  name  undoubtedly 
arose  from  the  custom,  and  this  1  think  arose  from  hence :  our  year  formerly  began,  as  to  some 
purposes,  and  in  some  respects,  on  the  25th  of  March,  which  was  supposed  to  be  the  Incarnation 
of  our  Lord ;  and  it  is  certain  that  the  commencement  of  the  new  year,  at  whatever  time  that  was 
supposed  to  be,  was  always  esteemed  an  high  festival,  and  that  both  amongst  the  antient  Romans  and 
with  us.  Now  great  festivals  were  usually  attended  with  an  Octave,  (see  Gent.  Mag.  1762.  p.  568.) 
that  is,  they  were  wont  to  continue  eight  days,  whereof  the  first  and  last  were  the  principal ;  and 
you  will  find  the  1st  of  April  is  the  octave  of  the  25th  of  March,  and  the  close  or  ending,  conse- 
quently, of  that  feast,  which  was  both  the  Festival  of  the  Annunciation  and  of  the  New  Year. 
From  hence,  as  I  take  it,  it  became  a  day  of  extraordinary  mirth  and  festivity,  especially  amongst 
the  lower  sorts,  who  are  apt  to  pervert  and  make  a  bad  use  of  institutions,  which  ut  first  might  be 
very  laudable  in  themselves."  T.  Row,  it  need  hardly  be  added,  was  Dr.  Pegge,  the  venerable 
rector  of  Whittington,  in  Derbyshire. 

The  following  is  extracted  from  the  Public  Advertiser,  April  13th,   1?89  : 

"  Humorous  Jewish  Origin  of  the  Custom  of  making  Fools  on  the  First  of  April. 

"  This  is  said  to  have  begun  from  the  mistake  of  Noah  in  sending  the  Dove  out  of  the  Ark 
before  the  water  had  abated,  on  the  first  day  of  the  month  among  the  Hebrews  which  answers  to 
our  first  of  April :  and,  to  perpetuate  the  memory  of  this  deliverance,  it  was  thought  proper, 
whoever  forgot  so  remarkable  a  circumstance,  to  punish  them  by  sending  them  upon  some  sleeve- 
less errand  similar  to  that  ineffectual  message  upon  which  the  bird  was  sent  by  the  patriarch." 

The  subsequent  too  had  been  cut  out  of  some  Newspaper. 


ALL    FOOLS    DAY.  121 

In  the  North  of  England  persons  thus  imposed  upon  are  called  "April 
Gowks."  A  Gouk,  or  Gowk,  is  properly  a  Cuckoo,  and  is  used  here,  meta- 
phorically, in  vulgar  language,  for  a  Fool.  The  Cuckoo  is,  indeed,  every 
where  a  name  of  contempt.  Gauch,  in  the  Teutonic,  is  rendered  stulttis,  fool, 
whence  also  our  Northern  word,  a  Goke,  or  a  GawJcy m. 

In  Scotland,  upon  April  Day,  they  have  a  custom  of  "  hunting  the  Gowk," 
as  it  is  termed.  This  is  done  by  sending  silly  people  upon  fools  errands,  from 
place  to  place,  by  means  of  a  letter,  in  which  is  written  : 

"  On  the  first  day  of  April 
Hunt  the  Gawk  another  mile". 

"The  1st  of  April,  1792. 

"No  Antiquary  has  even  tried  to  explain  the  custom  of  making  April  Fools.  It  cannot  be  con- 
nected with  '  the  Feast  of  the  Ass,'  for  that  would  be  on  Twelfth  Day ;  nor  with  the  ceremony 
of 'the  Lord  of  Misrule,'  in  England,  nor  of  the  'Abbot  of  Unreason,'  in  Scotland,  for  these 
frolics  were  held  at  Christmas.  The  writer  recollects  that  he  has  met  with  a  conjecture,  some- 
where, that  April  Day  is  celebrated  as  part  of  the  festivity  of  New  Year's  Day.  That  day  used  to 
be  kept  on  the  25th  of  March.  All  Antiquaries  know  that  an  octave,  or  eight  days,  usually  com- 
pleted the  Festivals  of  our  forefathers.  If  so,  April  day,  making  the  octave's  close,  may  be  sup- 
posed to  be  employed  in  Fool-making,  all  other  sports  having  been  exhausted  in  the  foregoing 
seven  days." 

Mr.  Douce's  MS  Notes  say :  "  I  am  convinced  that  the  ancient  ceremony  of  the  Feast  of  Fools 
has  no  connection  whatever  with  the  custom  of  making  Fools  on  the  1st  of  April.  The  making  of 
April  Fools,  after  all  the  conjectures  which  have  been  formed  touching  its  origin,  is  certainly  bor- 
rowed by  us  from  the  French,  and  may,  I  think,  be  deduced  from  this  simple  analogy.  The  French 
call  them  April  Fish  (Poissons  d'Avril),  i.  e.  Simpletons,  or,  in  other  words,  silly  Mackerel,  who  suf- 
fer themselves  to  be  caught  in  this  month.  But,  as,  with  us,  April  is  not  the  season  of  that  Fish, 
we  have  very  properly  substituted  the  word  Fools." 

1  "  On  the  Sunday  and  Monday  preceding  Lent,  as  on  the  1st  of  April  in  England,  people  are 
privileged  here  (Lisbon)  to  play  the  fool.  It  is  thought  very  jocose  to  pour  water  on  any  person 
who  passes,  or  throw  powder  on  his  face  ;  but  to  do  both  is  the  perfection  of  wit." 

Southey's  Letters  from  Spain  and  Portugal,  p.  497. 

Of  this  kind  was  the  practice  alluded  to  by  Dekker :  "  the  Booke-seller  ever  after,  when  you 
passe  by,  pinnes  on  yourbackes  the  badge  offooles,  to  make  you  be  laught  to  scorne,  or  cf  sillie 
carpers  to  make  you  be  pittied."  Seven  deadlie  Shines  of  London,  4to.  1606.  Pref.  to  Reader. 

Mr.  Douce's  interleaved  copy  of  the  Popular  Antiquities,  p.  209,  has  the  following :  "  A  la  Saint 
Simon  et  St.  Jude  on  envoit  au  Temple  les  Gens  un  peu  simple  demander  des  Ncfles,  (Medlars,)  a 
fin  de  les  attraper  &  faire  noircir  par  des  Valets."  Sauval  Antiq.  de  Paris,  ii.  617. 

m  Vide  Skinner,  in  verbo. 

"  In  the  old  Play  of  "The  Parson's  Wedding,"  the  Captain  says:  "Death!  you  might  have- 

VOL.  I.  B 


122  ALL   FOOLS   DAY. 

Maurice,  in  his  "Indian  Antiquities,"  vol.  VI.  p.  71.  speaking  of  "the  first  of 
April,  or  the  antient  Feast  of  the  Vernal  Equinox,  equally  observed  in  India 
and  Britain,"  tells  us :  "  The  first  of  April  was  anciently  observed  in  Britain 
as  a  high  and  general  Festival,  in  which  an  unbounded  hilarity  reigned 
through  every  order  of  its  inhabitants ;  for  the  sun,  at  that  period  of  the  year, 
entering  into  the  sign  Aries,  the  New  Year,  and  with  it  the  season  of 

left  word  where  you  went,  and  not  put  me  to  hunt  like  Tom  Fool."  See  Reed's  Old  Plays,  II.  419. 
So,  in  "  Secret  Memoirs  of  the  late  Mr.  Duncan  Campbel,"  8vo.  Lond.  1732.  p.  163  :  "  I  had  my 
labour  for  my  pains ;  or,  according  to  a  silly  custom  in  fashion  among  the  vulgar,  was  made  an 
April-Fool  of,  the  person  who  had  engaged  me  to  take  this  pains  never  meeting  me." 

The  following  elegant  verses  on  this  light  subject  are  taken  from  "  Julia,  or  Last  Follies,".  4to. 
1798.  p.  37 : 

"  To  a  Lady,  who  threatened  to  make  the  Author  an  April  Fool. 

"  Why  strive,  dear  Girl,  to  make  a  Fool 

Of  one  not  wise  before ; 
Yet,  having  scap'd  from  Folly's  School, 

Would  fain  go  there  no  more. 

"  Ah !  if  I  must  to  school  again, 

Wilt  thou  my  teacher  be  ? 
I  'm  sure  no  lesson  will  be  vain 

Which  thou  canst  give  to  me  ? 

"  One  of  thy  kind  and  gentle  looks, 

Thy  smiles  devoid  of  art, 
Avail  beyond  all  crabbed  books, 

To  regulate  my  heart. 
"  Thou  need'st  not  call  some  fairy  elf, 

On  any  April  Day, 
To  make  thy  bard  forget  himself, 

Or  wander  from  his  way. 
"  One  thing  he  never  can  forget, 

Whatever  change  may  be, 
The  sacred  hour  when  first  he  met 

And  fondly  gaz'd  on  thee. 
"  A  seed  then  fell  into  his  breast ; 

Thy  spirit  placed  it  there  : 
Need  I,  my  Julia,  tell  the  rest? 

Thou  see'st  the  blossoms  here." 


ALL    FOOLS    DAY.  123 

rural  sports  and  vernal  delight,  was  then  supposed  to  have  commenced.  The 
proof  of  the  great  antiquity  of  the  observance  of  this  annual  Festival,  as  well  as 
the  probability  of  its  original  establishment  in  an  Asiatic  region,  arises  from  the 
evidence  of  facts  afforded  us  by  Astronomy.  Although  the  reformation  of  the  year 
by  the  Julian  and  Gregorian  Calenders,  and  the  adaptation  of  the  period  of  its 
commencement  to  a  different  and  far  nobler  system  of  theology,  have  occasioned 
the  festival  sports,  anciently  celebrated  in  this  country  on  the  first  of  April,  to  have 
long  since  ceased  :  and  although  the  changes  occasioned,  during  a  long  lapse  of 
years,  by  the  shifting  of  the  Equinoctial  points,  have  in  Asia  itself  been  productive 
of  important  Astronomical  alterations,  as  to  the  exact  sera  of  the  commencement 
of  the  year ;  yet,  on  both  Continents,  some  very  remarkable  traits  of  the  jocundity 
which  then  reigned,  remain  even  to  these  distant  times.  Of  those  preserved  in 
Britain,  none  of  the  least  remarkable  or  ludicrous  is  that  relic  of  its  pristine 
pleasantry,  the  general  practice  of  making  April-Fools  as  it  is  called,  on  the  first 
day  of  that  month  :  but  this,  Colonel  Pearce  (Asiatic  Researches,  vol.  II.  p.  334,) 
proves  to  have  been  an  immemorial  custom  among  the  Hindoos,  at  a  celebrated 
Festival  holden  about  the  same  period  in  India,  which  is  called  the  Hull  Festival. 
'  During  the  Huli,  when  mirth  and  festivity  reign  among  the  Hindoos  of  every 
class,  one  subject  of  diversion  is  to  send  people  on  errands  and  expeditions  that 
are  to  end  in  disappointment,  and  raise  a  laugh  at  the  expence  of  the  person 
sent.  The  Huli  is  always  in  March,  and  the  last  day  is  the  general  holiday. 
I  have  never  yet  heard  any  account  of  the  origin  of  this  English  custom;  but  it 
is  unquestionably  very  antient,  and  is  still  kept  up  even  in  great  towns,  though 
less  in  them  than  in  the  country.  With  us,  it  is  chiefly  confined  to  the  lower 
class  of  people ;  but  in  India,  high  and  low  join  in  it ;  and  the  late  Suraja  Dou- 
lah,  I  am  told,  was  very  fond  of  making  Huli  Fools,  though  he  was  a  Mussul- 
man of  the  highest  rank.  They  carry  the  joke  here  so  far,  as  to  send  letters 
making  appointments,  in  the  name  of  persons  who  it  is  known  must  be  absent 
from  their  house  at  the  time  fixed  upon;  and  the  laugh  is  always  in  proportion 
to  the  trouble  given.'  The  least  enquiry  into  the  ancient  customs  of  Persia,  or 
the  minutest  acquaintance  with  the  general  astronomical  mythology  of  Asia, 
would  have  taught  Colonel  Pearce  that  the  boundless  hilarity  and  jocund  sports 
prevalent  on  the  first  day  of  April  in  England,  and  during  the  Huli  Festival  of 
India,  have  their  origin  in  the  ancient  practice  of  celebrating  with  festival  rites 


124  ALL  FOOLS  DAY. 

the  period  of  the  Vernal  Equinox,  or  the  day  M'hen  the  new  year  of  Persia  an- 
ciently began." 

Mr.  Cambridge,  in  his  Notes  on  the  Scribleriad  (Book  V.  line  247),  tells  us, 
that  the  first  day  of  April  was  a  day  held  in  esteem  among  the  Alchemists,  be- 
cause Basilius  Valentinus  was  born  on  it.  See  the  History  of  Basilius  Valen- 
tinus  in  the  Spectator,  No.  426. 


SHERE  THURSDAY, 

ALSO 

MAUNDY  THURSDAY,   r 

SHERE  THURSDAY  is  the  Thursday  before  Easter,  and  is  so  called  "  for 
that  in  old  Fathers  days  the  people  would  that  day  shere  theyr  hedes  and  clypp 
theyr  berdes,  and  pool  theyr  heedes,  and  so  make  them  honest  ayenst  Easter 
day  a."  It  was  also  called  Maunday  Thursday ;  and  is  thus  described  by  the 
Translator  of  Naogeorgus  in  "  The  Popish  Kingdome,"  fol.  51. 


a  From  an  old  Homily  quoted  in  the  Weekly  Packet  of  Advice  from  Rome,  i.  p.  168.  See  also 
the  Festival,  1511,  fol.  31. 

In  Fosbrooke's  British  Monachism,  vol.  II.  p.  127,  mention  occurs,  at  Barking  Nunnery,  of 
"  Russeaulx  (a  kind  of  allowance  of  corn)  in  Lent,  and  to  bake  with  Eels  on  Sheer  Thursday .-" 
also,  p.  12S,  "  stubbe  Eels  and  shafte  Eels  baked  for  Sheer  Thursday." 

A  Writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  for  July  1779,  vol.  XLIX.  p.  349,  says :  "  Maundy 
Thursday,  called  by  Collier  Shier  Thursday,  Cotgrave  calls  by  a  word  of  the  same  sound  and  im- 
port, Sheere  Thursday.  Perhaps,  for  I  can  only  go  upon  conjecture,  as  sheer  means  purus,  mun- 
dus,  it  may  allude  to  the  washing  of  the  disciples  feet  (John  xiii.  5,  &  seq.),  and  be  tantamount  to 
clean.  See  ver.  10 :  and  Lye's  Saxon  Dictionary,  v.  j-cip.  If  this  does  not  please,  the  Saxon  j  cipan 
signifies  tlividere,  and  the  name  may  come  from  the  distribution  of  alms  upon  that  day ;  for  which 
see  Archseol.  Soc.  Antiq.  vol.  I.  p.  7,  seq ;  Spelman,  Gloss,  v.  Mandatum ;  and  Du  Fresne,  vol.  iv. 
p.  400.  Please  to  observe  too,  that  on  that  day  they  also  washed  the  dltars:  so  that  the  term  in 
question  may  allude  to  that  business.  See  Collier's  Eccles.  Hist.  vol.  ii.  p.  197. 

In  More's  Answer  to  Tyndal,  on  the  Souper  of  our  Lord,  pref.  is  the  following  passage :  "  he 


SHERE  THURSDAY,  ALSO  MAUNDY  THURSDAY.  125 

"  And  here  the  monkes  their  Maundie  make,  with  sundrie  solemne  rights 

And  signes  of  great  humilitie,  and  wondrous  pleasaunt  sights. 

Ech  one  the  others  feete  doth  wash,  and  wipe  them  cleane  and  drie, 

With  hatefull  minde,  and  secret  frawde,  that  in  their  heartes  doth  lye : 

As  if  that  Christ,   with  his  examples,    did  these  things  require, 

And  not  to  helpe  our  brethren  here,  with  zeale  and  free  desire; 

Ech  one  supplying  others  want,  in  all  things  that  they  may, 

As  he  himselfe  a  servaunt  made,  to  serve  us  every  way. 

Then  strait  the  loaves  doe  walke,  and  pottes  in  every  place  they  skinke, 

Wherewith  the  holy  fathers  oft  to  pleasaunt  damsels  drinkeb." 

Cowell  describes  Maunday  Thursday  as  the  day  preceding  Good  Friday, 
when  they  commemorate  and  practise  the  commands  of  our  Saviour,  in  washing 
the  feet  of  the  poor,  &c.  as  our  Kings  of  England  have  long  practised  the  good 
old  custom  on  that  clay  of  washing  the  feet  of  poor  men  in  number  equal  to  the 
years  of  their  reign,  and  giving  them  shoes,  stockings,  and  money.  Some  derive 
the  word  from  mandatum,  command,  but  others,  and  I  think  much  more  pro- 
bably, from  maund,  a  kind  of  great  basket c  or  hamper,  containing  eight  bales, 
or  two  fatsd.  See  the  Book  of  Rates,  fol.  3. 

treateth,  in  his  secunde  parte,  the  Maundye  of  Chryste  wyth  hys  Apostles  upon  Shere  Thurs- 
day." Among  the  Receipts  and  Disbursements  of  the  Canons  of  the  Priory  of  St.  Mary  in  Hunting- 
don, in  Nichols's  "  Illustrations  of  the  Manners  and  Expences  of  antient  Times  in  England,"  4to, 
Lond.  1797.  p.  294,  we  have:  "  Item,  gyven  to  12  pore  men  upon  Shere  Thorsday,  2s."  In  an 
Account  of  Barking  Abbey  in  "  Select  Views  of  London  and  its  Environs,"  4to,  1804,  Signat.  3  S.  we 
read,  inter  alia,  in  transcripts  from  the  Cottonian  Manuscripts  and  the  Monasticon,  "  Deliveryd 
to  the  Co' vent  coke,  for  rushefals  for  Palme  Sundaye,  xxi  pounder  fygges.  Item,  delyveryd  to  the 
seyd  coke  on  Slier  Thursday  viii  pounde  lyse.  Item,  delyveryd  to  the  said  coke  for  Shere  Thursday 
xviii  pounde  almans." 

b  "  On  Maundy  Thursday  hath  bene  the  tnaner  from  the  beginnyng  of  the  Church  to  have  a 
general  drinkyng,  as  appeareth  by  S.  Paule's  writyng  to  the  Corinthians,  and  Tertulliane  to  his 
wyfe."  Langley's  Polidore  Vergill,  fo.  101  b. 

c  [COanb.  corbis.  sporta.  Hinc  forsan  nostra  Maunday-Thursday ,  sc.  dies  Jovis  in  hebdomada 
ante  Pascha,  quo  principes  nostri,  de  antiqua  regni  consuetudine,  eleemosynas  suas,  sportutis  con- 
gestas,  pauperibus  solebant  elargiri.  Spelm.  v.  Lye  in  voce.] 

d  The  British  Apollo,  vol.  ii.  No.  7  (fol.  Lond.  1709),  says:  "  Maunday  is  a  corruption  of  the 
Latin  word  Mandatum,  a  command.  The  day  is  therefore  so  called,  because  as  on  that  day  our 
Saviour  washed  his  disciples  feet,  to  teach  them  the  great  duty  of  being  humble.  And  therefore  he 
gives  them  in  command  to  do  as  he  had  done,  to  imitate  their  Master  in  all  proper  instances  of 
condescension  and  humility." 


136  SHERE  THURSDAY,   ALSO   MAUNDY  THURSDAY. 

The  following  is  from  the  Gentleman's  Magazine,  vol.  I.  for  April  1731, 
p.  172:  "  Thursday  April  1.5  being  Maunday  Thursday,  there  was  distributed 
at  the  Banquetting  House,  Whitehall,  to  forty-eight  poor  men  and  forty-eight 
poor  women  (the  king's  age  forty-eight)  boiled  beef  and  shoulders  of  mutton,  and 
Small  bowls  of  ale,  which  is  called  dinner ;  after  that,  large  wooden  platters  of 
fish  and  loaves,  viz.  undressed,  one  large  old  ling,  and  one  large  dried  cod ; 
twelve  red  herrings,  and  12  white  herrings,  and  four  half  quarter  loves.  Each 
person  had  one  platter  of  this  provision ;  after  which  was  distributed  to  them 
shoes,  stockings,  linen  and  woollen  cloth,  and  leathern  bags,  with  one  penny, 
two  penny,  three  penny,  and  four  penny  pieces  of  silver,  and  shillings ;  to  each 
about  four  pounds  in  value.  His  Grace  the  Lord  Archbishop  of  York,  Lord 
High  Almoner,  performed  the  annual  ceremony  of  washing  the  feet  of  a  certain 
number  of  poor  in  the  Royal  Chapel,  Whitehall,  which  was  formerly  done  by 
the  kings  themselves,  in  imitation  of  our  Saviour's  pattern  of  humility,  &c. 
James  the  Second  tras  the  last  king  who  performed  this  in  person e." 


"  Maunday  Thursday,"  says  a  writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  for  July  1779,  voL  XLIX.  p.  354, 
"  is  the  poor  people's  Thursday,  from  the  Fr.  maundier,  to  beg.  The  King's  liberality  to  the  poor 
on  that  Thursday  in  Lent  [is  at]  a  season  when  they  are  supposed  to  have  lived  very  low.  Maun- 
diant  is  at  this  day  in  French  a  beggar." 

In  "  Wits,  Fits,  and  Fancies,"  4to,  b.  I.  p.  82,  is  the  foDowing :  "  A  scrivener  was  writing  a  mar- 
chant's  last  will  and  testament ;  in  which  the  marcbant  expressed  many  debts  that  were  owing  him, 
which  he  willed  his  executors  to  take  up,  and  dispose  to  such  and  such  uses.  A  kinsman  of  this 
marchant's  then  standing  by,  and  hoping  for  some  good  thing  to  be  bequeathed  him,  long'd  to 
heare  some  goode  news  to  that  effect,  and  said  unto  the  scrivener,  Hagh,  hagh,  what  saith  my  uncle 
now  ?  doth  he  note  make  hit  Maundies?  No  (answered  the  scrivener),  he  is  yet  in  his  dtmaunds." 
In  Quarks'  Shepbeard's  Oracles,  4to,  Lond.  1646,  p.  C6,  is  the  following  passage : 

" Nay,  oftentimes  their  flocks  doe  fare 

No  better  than  chamelions  in  the  ayre ; 
Not  having  substance,  but  with  forc'd  content 
Making  their  maundy  with  an  empty  tent" 

e  In  Langfey's  Polydore  Vergil,  foL  98,  we  read  :  "  The  kynges  and  queues  of  England  on  that 
day  washe  the  feete  of  so  many  poore  menne  and  women  as  they  be  yeres  olde,  and  geve  to  every  of 
them  so  many  pence,  with  a  gowue,  and  another  ordinary  alraes  of  meate,  and  kysse  their  feete ; 
and  afterward  geve  their  pownes  of  their  backes  to  them  that  they  se  most  nedy  of  al  the  nomber." 

[Nor  was  this  custom  entirely  confined  to  Royalty.  In  "  the  Earl  of  Northumberland's  Household 
Book,"  begun  anno  Domini  1512,  fol.  354,  we  have  an  enumeration  of 


SHERE  THURSDAY,    ALSO   MAUNDY  THURSDAY.  127 

A  writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine,  vol.  LI.  p.  500,  states,  that  "  it  is  a 
general  practice  of  people  of  all  ranks  in  the  Roman  Catholic  countries  to  dress 


"  AL  MANNER  OF  THINGS  yerly  ycven  by  my  Lorde  of  hit  MAUNDY,  ande  my  Laidis  and  his 
Lordshippis  Childeren,  as  the  consideracion  WHY  more  playnly  hereafter  folowith. 

"  Furst,  my  Lorde  useth  undo  accustomyth  yerely  uppon  Maundy  Thursday,  when  his  Lordship 
is  at  home,  to  gyf  yerly  as  manny  gownnes  to  as  manny  poor  men  as  my  l^orde  is  yeres  of  aige, 
with  hoodes  to  them,  and  one  for  the  yere  of  my  Lordes  aige  to  come,  of  russet  cloth,  after  iii 
yerddes  of  brode  cloth  in  every  gowne  and  hoode,  ande  after  xiid.  the  brod  yerde  of  clothe. 

"  Item,  my  Lorde  useth  ande  accustomyth  yerly  uppon  Maundy  Thursday,  when  his  Lordship  is 
at  home,  to  gyf  yerly  as  mutiny  sherts  of  lynnon  cloth  to  as  manny  poure  men  as  his  Lordshipe  is 
yers  of  aige,  and  one  for  the  yere  of  my  Lord's  aige  to  come,  after  ii  yerdis  dim.  in  every  shert, 
aude  after  ....  the  yerde. 

"  Item,  my  Lorde  useth  ande  accustomyth  yerly  uppon  the  said  Mawndy  Thursday,  when  his 
Lordship  is  at  home,  to  gyf  yerly  as  manny  tren  platers  after  ob.  the  pece,  with  a  cast  of  brede  and 
a  certen  meat  in  it,  to  as  mauny  poure  men  as  his  Lordship  is  yeres  of  aige,  and  one  for  the  yere  of 
my  Lordis  aige  to  come. 

"  Item,  my  Lorde  used  and  accustomyth  yerly,  uppon  the  said  Maundy  Thursday,  when  his  Lord- 
ship is  at  home,  to  gyf  yerely  as  many  eshen  cuppis,  after  ob.  the  pece,  with  wyne  in  them,  to 
as  many  poure  men  as  his  Lordeship  is  yeres  of  aige,  and  one  for  the  yere  of  my  Lordis  aige  to 
come. 

"  Item,  my  Lorde  useth  and  accustomyth  yerly  uppon  the  said  Mawndy  Thursday,  when  his 
Lordshipe  is  at  home,  to  gyf  yerly  as  manny  pursses  of  lether,  after  ob.  the  pece,  with  as  many  pen- 
nys  in  every  purse,  to  as  many  poore  men  as  his  Lordship  is  yeres  of  aige,  and  one  for  the  yere  of 
my  Lord's  aige  to  come. 

"  Item,  my  Lorde  useth  ande  accustomyth  yerly,  uppon  Mawndy  Thursday,  to  cause  to  be 
bought  iii  yerdis  and  iii  quarters  of  brode  violett  cloth,  for  a  gowne  for  his  Lordshipe  to  doo  ser- 
vice in,  or  for  them  that  schall  doo  service  in  his  Lordshypes  absence,  after  iiis.  viiid.  the  yerde, 
and  to  be  furrede  with  blake  lamb,  contenynge  ii  keippe  and  a  half,  after  xxx  skjunes  in  a  kepe, 
and  after  vis.  iiirf.  the  kepe,  and  after  iirf.  ob.  the  skynne,  and  after  Ixxv  skynnys  for  furringe  of 
the  said  gowne,  which  gowne  my  Lord  werith  all  the  tyme  his  Lordship  doith  service ;  and  after 
his  Lordship  hath  done  his  service  at  his  said  Maundy,  doith  gyf  to  the  pourest  man  that  he  fyndyth, 
as  he  thynkyth,  emongs  them  all  the  said  gowne. 

"  Item,  my  Lorde  useth  and  accustomyth  yerly,  upon  the  said  Mawnday  Thursday,  to  cans  to  be 
delyvered  to  one  of  my  Lordis  chaplayns,  for  my  Lady,  if  she  be  at  my  Lordis  fyndynge,  and  not 
at  hur  owen,  to  comaunde  hym  to  gyf  for  her  as  many  groits  to  as  many  poure  men  as  hir  Ladyship 
is  yeres  of  aige,  and  one  for  the  yere  of  hir  age  to  come,  owte  of  my  Lordis  coffueres,  if  sche  be  not 
at  hir  owen  fyndynge. 

"  Item,  my  Lorde  useth  and  accustomyth  yerly,  uppon  the  said  Maundy  Thursday,  to  caus  to 
be  delyvered  to  one  of  my  Lordis  chaplayns,  for  my  Lordis  eldest  sone  the  Lord  Percy,  for  hym  to 


128  SIIERE    THURSDAY,    ALSO    MAUNDAY   THURSDAY. 

in  their  very  best  cloaths  on  Maundy  Thursday.  The  churches  are  unusually 
adorned,  and  every  body  performs  what  is  called  the  Stations  ;  which  is,  to  visit 
several  churches,  saying  a  short  prayer  in  each,  and  giving  alms  to  the  numerous 
beggars  who  attend  upon  the  occasion." 

Another  writer  in  the  same  Miscellany,  vol.  LIII.  for  July  17H3,  p.  577,  tells 
us  that  "  the  inhabitants  of  Paris,  on  Thursday  in  Passion  Week,  go  regularly 
to  the  Bois  de  Boulogne,  and  parade  there  all  the  evening  with  their  equipages. 
There  used  to  be  the  Penitential  Psalms,  or  Tenebres,  sung  in  a  chapel  in  the 
wood  on  that  day,  by  the  most  excellent  voices,  which  drew  together  great 
numbers  of  the  beat  company  from  Paris,  who  still  continued  to  resort  thither, 
though  no  longer  for  the  purposes  of  religion  and  mortification  (if  one  may  judge 
from  appearances)  but  of  ostentation  and  pride.  A  similar  cavalcade  I  have 
also  seen,  on  a  like  occasion,  at  Naples,  the  religious  origin  of  which  will  pro- 
bably soon  cease  to  be  remembered." 


GOOD  FRIDAY. 

1IOSPINIAN  tells  us  that  the  Kings  of  England  had  a  custom  of  hallowing 
llings,  with  much  ceremony,  on  Good  Friday,  the  wearers  of  which  will  not  be 
afflicted  with  the  falling-sickness.  He  adds,  that  the  custom  took  its  rise  from 
a  Ring  which  had  been  long  preserved,  with  great  veneration,  in  Westminster 
Abbey,  and  was  supposed  to  have  great  efficacy  against  the  cramp  and  falling- 
sickness,  when  touched  by  those  who  were  afflicted  with  either  of  those  disorders. 


comaunde  to  gyf  for  hym  as  manny  pens  of  ii  pens  to  as  many  poure  men  as  his  Lordship  is  yeeres 
of  aige,  and  one  for  the  yere  of  his  Lordshipis  age  to  come. 

"  Item,  my  Lorde  useth  and  accustomyth  yerly,  uppon  Mawndy  Thursday,  to  caus  to  be  delyverit 
to  one  of  my  Lordis  chaplayns,  for  every  of  ray  yonge  maisters,  my  Lordis  yonger  sonnes,  to  gyf 
for  every  of  them  as  manny  penns  to  as  manny  poore  men  as  every  of  my  said  maisters  is  yeres  of 
aige,  and  for  the  yere  to  come."] 

Among  the  ancient  annual  Church  Disbursements  of  St.  Mary  at  Hill,  in  the  City  of  London,  I 
find  the  following  entry :  "  Water  on  Maundy  Thursday  and  Ester  Eve,  Id." 


GOOD    FRIDAY. 

This  Ring  is  reported  to  have  been  brought  to  King  Edward  by  some  persons 
coming  from  Jerusalem,  and  which  he  himself  had  long  before  given  privately 
to  a  poor  person,  who  had  asked  alms  of  him  for  the  love  he  bare  to  St.  John 
the  Evangelist*. 

The  old  Popish  ceremony,  of  "creepinge  to  the  Crosse"  on  Good  Friday,  is 
given,  from  an  ancient  book  of  the  Ceremonial  of  the  Kings  of  England,  in  the 
Notes  to  the  Northumberland  Household  Book.  The  Usher  was  to  lay  a  car- 
pet for  the  Kinge  to  "  creepe  to  the  Crosse  upon."  The  Queen  and  her  Ladies 
were  also  to  creepe  to  the  CROSSE.  In  an  original  Proclamation,  black  letter, 
dated  26th  February,  30  Hen.  VIII.  in  the  first  volume  of  a  Collection  of  Pro- 
clamations in  the  Archives  of  the  Society  of  x\ntiquaries  of  London,  p.  138,  we 


*  "  Reges  denique  Angliae  consueverunt,  in  die  Paresceues,  multil  ceremonial  sacrare  annulos, 
queuiadmodum  Pontifices  Romani  sequenti  die  Cereum  Paschalem,  quos  qui  gerunt  comitiali 
morbo  non  vexari  creduntur.  Mos  hie  inde  natus  est,  quod  in  templo  VVestmonasterij  annulus, 
multa  veneratione  per  diu  servatus  fuit,  qu&d  salutaris  esset  membris  stupentibus,  valeretque  ad- 
versus  comitialem  morbum,  quum  tangeretur  ab  iis,  qui  eiusmodi  tentarentur  morbU.  Annulus 
hie  allatus  dicitur  Eduuardo  Regi  a  quibusdam  Hierosolyma  venientibus,  quern  ipse  diu  antea 
pauperi  clam  dederat,  qui  pro  amore,  quem  erga  D.  Joannem  Evangelistam  habebat,  eleemosy- 
nam  petierat,  sicut  Polyd.  Vergilius  scribit  lib.  8.  Histories  Anglicse."  Hos^  inian  de  Orig.  Festor. 
Christianor.  fol.  61.  b. 

Andrew  Boorde,  in  his  Breviary  of  Health,  4to,  1557.  fol.  166.  speaking  of  the  cramp,  adopts 
the  following  superstition  among  the  remedies  thereof:  "  The  Kynge's  Majestic  hath  a  great  helpe 
in  this  matter  in  halowyng  Crampe  Ringcs,  and  so  geven  without  money  or  petition." 

[Lord  Berners,  the  accomplished  Tianslator  of  Froissart,  when  ambassador  to  the  Emperor 
Charles  Vth,  writing  "  to  my  Lorde  Cardinall's  grace,  from  Saragoza,  the  xxi  daie  of  June"  1518, 
says:  "  If  yor  g'ce  rememb'r  me  w*  some  Crampe  Ryngs,  ye  shall  doo  a  thing  muche  looked  for; 
and  I  trust  to  bestowe  thaym  well  wt  Godd's  g'ce,  who  eu'mor  p's've  and  encrease  yor  moost  reu'ent 
astate."  -Hart.  MS.  295.  fol.  1 19  b.] 

"  On  s'imagine  en  Flandre,  que  les  Enfans,  nez  le  Vendredy- Saint,  out  le  pouvoir  de  guerir  natu- 
rellement  des  Jievres  tierees,  des  Jlevres  quartes,  et  de  plusieurs  autres  maux.  Mais  ce  pouvoir 
mest  beaucoup  suspect,  parceque  j'estime  que  c'est  tomber  dans  la  superstition  de  1'observance 
des  jours  et  des  temps,  que  de  croire  que  les  Enfans  nez  le  Vendredy-Saint  puissent  guerir  des 
maladies  plutost  que  ceux  qui  sont  nez  un  autre  jour."  Traite"  des  Superstitions,  &c.  12mo. 
Par.  1679.  torn.  i.  p.  436. 

M.  Thiers,  in  the  same  work,  p.  316,  says,  that  he  has  known  people  who  preserve  all  the 
year  such  eggs  as  are  laid  on  Good-Friday,  which  they  think  are  good  to  extinguish  fires  in  which 
they  may  be  thrown.     He  adds,  that  some  imagine  that  three  loaves  baked  on  the  same  day,  and 
put  into  a  heap  of  corn,  will  prevent  its  being  devoured  by  rats,  mice,  weevils,  or  worms. 
VOL.  I.  S 


130  «OOD    FRIDAY. 

read  :  "  On  Good  Friday  it  shall  be  declared  howe  creepyng  of  the  Crosse  sig- 
nifyeth  an  humblynge  of  ourselfe  to  Christe,  before  the  Crosse,  and  the  kyssynge 
of  it  a  memorie  of  our  redemption,  made  upon  the  Crosseb." 

The  following  is  Barnabe  Googe's  account  of  Good  Friday,  in  the  English 
Version  of  Naogeorgus,  fo.  51  b: 

"  Two  Priestes,  the  next  day  following,  upon  their  shoulders  beare 

The  Image  of  the  Crucifix,  about  the  Altar  neare, 

Being  clad  in  coape  of  crimozen  diec,  and  dolefully  they  sing : 

At  length  before  the  steps,  his  coate  pluck  t  of,  they  straight  him  bring, 

And  upon  Turkey  carpettes  lay  him  down  full  tenderly, 

With  cushions  underneath  his  heade,  and  pillows  heaped  hie ; 

Then  flat  upon  the  grounde  they  fall,  and  kisse  both  hand  and  feete, 

And  worship  so  this  woodden  God,  with  honour  farre  unmeete  ; 

Then  all  the  shaven  sort  falles  downe,  and  foloweth  them  herein, 

As  workemen  chiefe  of  wickednesse,  they  first  of  all  begin  : 

And  after  them  the  simple  soules,  the  common  people  come, 

And  worship  him  with  divers  giftes,  as  golde,  and  silver  some, 

And  others  corne  or  egges  againe,  to  poulshorne  persons  sweete, 

And  eke  a  long-desired  price,  for  wicked  worship  meete. 


b  See  also  Bonder's  Injunctions,  A.  D.  1555.  4to.  Signat.  A.  2.  In  "A  short  Description  of 
Antichrist,"  &c.  see  Herbert,  p.  1579,  the  author  notes  the  popish  custom  of  "creepinge  to  the 
Crosse  with  egges  and  apples."  "  Dispelinge  with  a  white  rodde"  immediately  follows  :  though  I 
know  not  whether  it  was  upon  the  same  day. 

"  To  holde  forth  the  Crosse  for  Egges  on  Good  Friday"  occurs  among  the  Roman  Catholic  cus- 
toms censured  by  John  Bale,  in  his  Declaration  of  Bonner's  Articles,  1554.  Signat.  D.  3.  as  is  ibid. 
D.  4.  b.  "  to  creape  to  the  Crosse  on  Good  Friday  featly." 

It  is  stated  in  a  curious  Sermon  preached  at  Blanford  Forum,  in  Dorsetshire,  January  17th, 
1570,  by  William  Kethe,  minister,  and  dedicated  to  Ambrose  Earl  of  Warwick,  Svo.  Lond.  p.  18. 
that  on  Good  Friday  the  Roman  Catholics  "  offered  unto  Christe  Egges  and  Bacon  to  be  in  hys  fa- 
vour till  Easter  Day  was  past ;"  from  which  we  may  at  least  gather  with  certainty  that  Eggs  and 
Bacon  composed  a  usual  dish  on  that  day. 

In  "Whimzies,  or  a  new  Cast  of  Characters,"  12mo.  Lond.  1631.  p.  196.  we  have  this  trait  of 
"a  zealous  brother:"  "he  is  an  Antipos  to  all  Church-government :  when  she  feasts  he  fasts ; 
when  she  fasts  he  feasts :  Good  Friday  is  his  Shrove  Tuesday :  he  commends  this  notable  carnall 
caveat  to  his  family — eate  flesh  upon  dayes  prohibited,  it  is  good  against  Popery." 

c  In  the  Lost  of  Church  Plate,  Vestments,  &c.  in  the  Churchwardens  Accounts  of  St:  Mary  at 
Hill,  10  Hen.  VI.  occurs,  "  also  an  olde  Vestment  of  red  silke  lyned  with  zelow  for  Good  Friday." 


GOOD  FRIDAY.  131 

How  are  the  Idoles  worshipped,  if  this  religion  here 

Be  Catholike,  and  like  the  spowes  of  Christ  accounted  dere  ? 

Besides,  with  Images  the  more  their  pleasure  here  to  take, 

And  Christ,  that  every  where  doth  raigne,  a  laughing-stock  to  make, 

An  other  Image  doe  they  get,  like  one  but  newly  deade, 

With  legges  stretcht  out  at  length,  and  handes  upon  his  body  spreade  ; 

And  him,  with  pompe  and  sacred  song,  they  beare  unto  his  grave, 

His  bodie  all  being  wrapt  in  lawne,  and  silkes  and  sarcenet  brave ; 

The  boyes  before  with  clappers  go,  and  filthie  noyses  make ; 

The  Sexten  beares  the  light :  the  people  hereof  knowledge  take, 

And  downe  they  kneele,  or  kisse  the  grounde,  their  hands  held  up  abrod, 

And  knocking  on  their  breastes,  they  make  this  wooddeu  blocke  a  God  : 

And,  least  in  grave  he  should  remaine  without  some  companie, 

The  singing  bread  is  layde  with  him,  for  more  idolatrie. 

The  Priest  the  Image  worships  first,  as  falleth  to  his  turne, 

And  franckencense,  and  sweet  perfumes,  before  the  breade  doth  burne  : 

With  tapers  all  the  people  come,  and  at  the  barriars  stay, 

Where  downe  upon  their  knees  they  fall,  and  night  and  day  they  pray, 

And  violets,  and  every  kinde  of  flowres,  about  the  grave 

They  straw,  and  bring  in  all  their  giftes,  and  presents  that  they  have  : 

The  singing  men  their  dirges  chaunt,  as  if  some  guiltie  soule 

Were  buried  there,  that  thus  they  may  the  people  better  poule." 


GOOD    FRIDAY    CROSS    BUNSd. 

Hutchinson,  in  his  History  of  Northumberland,  following  Mr.  Bryant's  Ana- 
lysis, derives  the  Good  Friday  Bun  from  the  sacred  Cakes  which  were  offered 
at  the  Arkite  Temples,  stiled  Boun,  and  presented  every  seventh  day. 


d  These  are  constantly  marked  with  the  form  of  the  Cross.  Indeed  the  country-people  in  the 
North  of  England  make,  with  a  knife,  many  little  cross-marks  on  their  cakes,  before  they  put 
them  into  the  oven.  I  have  no  doubt  but  that  this  too,  trifling  as  the  remark  may  appear,  is  a 
remain  of  Popery.  Thus  also  persons  who  cannot  write,  instead  of  signing  their  names,  are 
directed  to  make  their  marks,  which  is  generally  done  in  the  form  of  a  Cross.  From  the  form  of 
a  Cross  at  the  beginning  of  a  horn-book,  the  alphabet  is  called  the  Christ-Cross  Row.  The  Cross 


138  GOOD    FRIDAY. 

Mr.  Bryant  has  also  the  following  passage  on  this  subject:  "The  offerings 
which  people  in  ancient  times  used  to  present  to  the  Gods,  were  generally  pur- 
chased at  the  entrance  of  the  Temple ;  especially  every  species  of  consecrated 
bread,  which  was  denominated  accordingly.  One  species  of  sacred  bread  which 
used  to  be  offered  to  the  Gods  was  of  great  antiquity,  and  called  Bonn.  The 
Greeks  who  changed  the  Nu  final  into  a  Sigma,  expressed  it  in  the  nominative 

used  in  shop-books  Butler  seems  to  derive  from  the  same  origin  : 

"  And  some  against  all  idolizing 
The  cross  in  shop-books,  or  baptizing." 

Hudibras,  P.  3.  c.  2.  1.  313. 

The  round  O  of  a  milk-score  is,  if  I  mistake  not,  also  marked  with  a  Cross  for  a  shilling, 
though  unnoted  by  LluelHn  in  the  following  passage : 

"By  what  happe 

The  fat  Harlot  of  the  Tappe 
Writes,  at  night  and  at  noone, 
For  a  tester  half  a  Moorte, 
And  a  great  round  O  for  a  shilling." 

Lluellin's  Poems,  8vo.  Lond.  1679.  p.  40. 

Richard  Flecknoe,  in  his  "  ./Enigmatical  Characters,"  8vo.  Lond.  1665.  p.  83.  speaking  of 
"  your  fanatick  reformers,"  says :  "  had  they  their  will,  a  bird  should  not  fly  in  the  air  with  its 
wings  across,  a  ship  with  its  cross-yard  sail  upon  the  sea,  nor  prophane  taylor  sit  cross-legged  on 
his  shop-board,  or  have  cross-bottoms  to  winde  his  thread  upon."  This  whimsical  detestation  of 
the  cross-form,  no  doubt,  took  its  rise  from  the  odium  at  that  time  against  every  thing  derived 
from  Popery. 

In  a  curious  and  rare  book,  intituled,  "The  Canterburian's  Self-Conviction,"  4to.  1640.  in  the 
Scottish  dialect,  no  place  or  printer's  name,  p.  81.  chap.  6.  "anent  their  superstitions,"  is  this 
passage :  "  They  avow  that  signing  with  the  signe  of  the  Crosse  at  rysing  or  lying  downe,  at  going 
out  or  coming  in,  at  lighting  of  candles,  closing  of  windowes,  or  any  such  action,  is  not  only  a 
pious  and  profitable  ceremonie,  but  a  very  apostolick  tradition." 

Mr.  Pennant,  in  his  Welch  MS.  says :  "At  the  delivery  of  the  bread  and  wine  at  the  Sacrament, 
several,  before  they  receive  the  bread  or  cup,  though  held  out  to  them,  will  flourish  a  little  with 
their  thumb,  something  like  making  the  figure  of  the  Cross.  They  do  it  (the  women  mostly) 
when  they  say  their  prayers  on  their  first  coming  to  church." 

Dalrymple,  in  his  Travels  in  Spain,  says,  that  there  "  not  a  woman  gets  into  a  coach  to  go  a 
hundred  yards,  nor  a  postillion  on  his  horse,  without  crossing  themselves.  Even  the  tops  of  ta- 
vern-bills and  the  directions  of  letters  are  marked  with  Crosses." 

Among  the  Irish,  when  a  woman  milks  her  cow,  she  dips  her  finger  into  the  milk,  with  which 
she  crosses  the  beast,  and  piously  ejaculates  a  prayer,  saying,  "  Mary  and  our  Lord  preserve  thee, 
until  I  come  to  thee  again."  Gent.  Mag.  1795,  p.  202. 


GOOD  FRIDAY.  133 

Bey,  but  in  the  accusative  more  truly  Boun,  Us*.  Hesychius  speaks  of  the 
Boun,  and  describes  it  a  kind  of  cake  with  a  representation  of  two  horns. 
Julius  Pollux  mentions  it  after  the  same  manner,  a  sort  of  Cake  with  horns. 
Diogenes  Laertius,  speaking  of  the  same  offering  being  made  by  Etnpedocles, 
describes  the  chief  ingredients  of  which  it  was  composed.  "  He  offered  one  of 
the  sacred  Liba,  called  a  Bouse,  which  was  made  of  fine  flour  and  honey."  It 
is  said  of  Cecrops  that  he  first  offered  up  this  sort  of  sweet  bread.  Hence  we 
may  judge  of  the  antiquity  of  the  custom,  from  the  times  to  which  Cecrops  is 
referred.  The  prophet  Jeremiah  takes  notice  of  this  kind  of  offering,  when  he 
is  speaking  of  the  Jewish  women  at  Pathros,  in  Egypt,  and  of  their  base  idola- 
try; in  all  which  their  husbands  had  encouraged  them.  The  women,  in  their 
expostulation  upon  his  rebuke,  tell  him  :  "Did  we  make  her  cakes  to  worship 
her?"  Jerem.  xliv.  18.  19.  vii.  18.  "Small  loaves  of  bread,"  Mr.  Hutchinson 
observes,  "peculiar  in  their  form,  being  long  and  sharp  at  both  ends,  are  called 
Buns."  These  he  derives  as  above,  and  concludes:  "We  only  retain  the  name 
and  form  of  the  Boun,  the  sacred  uses  are  no  more." 

A  Writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine,  vol.  LIII.  for  July  1783.  p.  519,. 
speaking  of  CROSS  BUNS,  Saffron  Cakes,  or  Symnels6,  in  Passion  Week,  ob- 
serves that  "these  being,  formerly  at  least,  unleavened,  may  have  a  retrospect 
to  the  unleavened  bread  of  the  Jews,  in  the  same  manner  as  Lamb  at  Easter  to 
the  Paschal  Lamb." 


EASTER  EVE. 

VARIOUS  superstitions  crept  in  by  degrees  among  the  rites  of  this  day : 
such  as  putting  out  all  the  fires  in  churches  and  kindling  them  anew  from  flint, 
blessing  the  Easter  Wax,  &c. 

•  Hutchinson,  Hist,  of  Northumb.  vol.  ii.  ad  finem,  has  the  following:  "  Semeslins.  We  have 
a  kind  of  cake,  mixed  with  fruit,  called  Semeslins.  The  Romans  prepared  sweet  bread  for  their 
feasts  held  at  seed  time,  when  they  invoked  the  Gods  for  a  prosperous  year.  In  Lancashire  they 
are  called  Semens.  We  have  the  old  French  word  still  in  use  in  Heraldry,  Semee,  descriptive  of 
being  sown  or  scattered,"  p.  18. 


134  EASTER   EVE. 

They  are  described  by  Hospinian,  in  the  poetical  language  of  Thomas  Nao- 
georgus,  in  his  Fourth  Book  of  "The  Popish  Kingdom*/'  thus  translated  by 
Barnabe  Googe: 

•    »••»•  -       ilt.^rt  3          4  J    t 

"  On  Easter  eve  the  fire  all  is  quencht  in  every  place, 
And  fresh  againe  from  out  the  flint  is  fetcht  with  solenine  grace  : 
The  priest  doth  halow  this  against  great  daungers  many  one, 
A  brande  whereof  doth  every  man  with  greedie  minde  take  home, 
That,  when  the  fearefuli  storme  appeares,  or  tempest  black  arise, 
By  lighting  this  he  safe  may  be  from  stroke  of  hnrtfull  skies. 
A  taper  great,  the  PASCHALL  b  namde,  with  musicke  then  they  blesse, 


a  "  Ante  diem  Paschae  vetus  apte  extinguitur  ignis, 
Et  novus  e  silicum  venis  extruditur :  ilium 
Adjurat  multis  adversum  incommoda  pastor. 
Cujus  quisque  capit  torrem  molimine  summo, 
Fertque  domum,  ut  quanilo  tempestas  ingruat  atra, 
Succenso,  coeli  plaga  sit  tutus  ab  onmi. 
Cereus  bine  ingens,  Paschalis  dictus,  amoeno 
Sacratur  cantu  :  cui  ne  mysteria  desint, 
Thurea  compingunt,  in  facta  foramina  grana. 
Hie  ad  honoretn  ardet  vinccntis  tartara  Christi, 
Nocte  dieque  quasi  hoc  ritu  capiatur  inani." 

Hospinian  de  Orig.  Fest.  Christ,  fol.  67  b. 

l>  In  Coates's  History  of  Reading,  4to,  1802,  p.  131,  under  Churchwardens  Accounts,  we  find 
the  subsequent  entry,  sub  anno  1559. 

"  Paid  for  makynge  of  the  PASCALL  and  the  Funtc  Taper,  5*.  3d." 

A  note  on  this  observes :  "  The  Pascal  taper  was  usually  very  large.  In  1557,  the  Pascal  taper 
for  the  Abbey  Church  of  Westminster  was  3OO  pounds  weight." 

In  the  ancient  annual  Church-Disbursements  of  St.  Mary  at  Hill,  in  the  City  of  London,  I  find 
the  following  article :  "  For  a  quarter  of  coles  for  the  hallowed  fire  on  Easter  Eve,  6d."  *  Also 
the  subsequent :  "  To  the  Clerk  and  Sexton  (for  two  men)  for  watching  the  Sepulchre  from  Good 
Friday  to  Easter  Eve,  and  for  their  meate  and  drinke,  14d." 

I  find  also  in  the  Churchwardens  Accounts,  ibid.  5th  Hen.  VI.  Gelam  and  Gretyng  Church- 
wardens, the  following  entries : 

"  For  the  Sepulchre,  for  divers  naylis  and  wyres  and  glu,  9d.  ob. 
Also  payd  to  Thomas  Joynor  for  makyng  of  the  same  Sepulchre,  4i. 
Also  payd  for  bokeram  for  penons,  and  for  the  makynge,  22<J. 

*  In  "A  Short  Description  of  Antichrist,  &c."  already  quoted  at  p.  130,  the  author  censures,  among  other 
popish  customs,  "  the  halowyng  ofjiere." 


EASTER  EVE;  13$ 

And  franckencense  herein  they  pricke,  for  greater  holynesse : 
This  burneth  night  and  day  as  signe  of  Christ  that  conquerde  hell, 

Also  payd  for  betyng  and  steynynge  of  the  peuons,  6*. 
For  a  pece  of  timber  to  the  newe  Pascall,  2«. 
Also  payd  for  a  dysh  of  peuter  for  the  Paskall,  8d. 
Also  payd  for  pynnes  of  iron  for  the  same  Pascall,  4d." 

It  was  customary  in  the  popish  times  to  erect,  on  Good  Friday,  a  small  building  to  represent 
the  Sepulchre  of  our  Saviour.  In  this  was  placed  the  host,  and  a  person  set  to  watch  it  both  that 
night  and  the  next ;  and  the  following  morning  very  early  the  host  being  taken  out,  Christ  waa 
said  to  have  arisen. 

In  Coates's  Hist,  of  Reading,  p.  130,  under  Churchwardens  Accounts,  we  read,  sub  anno  1558-. 
"  Paide  to  Roger  Brock  for  watching  of  the  Sepulchre,  8d. 
"  Paide  more  to  the  saide  Roger  for  syscs  and  colles,  3d." 

With  this  note :  "  This  was  a  ceremony  used  in  churches  in  remembrance  of  the  soldiers  watching 
the  Sepulchre  of  our  Saviour.  We  find  in  the  preceding  Accounts  the  old  Sepulchre  and  "  the 
Toumbe  of  brycke"  had  been  sold." 

The  accounts  alluded  to  are  at  p.  128,  and  run  thus : 
"A.D.  1551. 

"  Receyvid  of  Henry  More  for  the  Sepulcher,  xiij*.  iiijd. 
Receyvid  of  John  Webbe  for  the  Toumbe  of  brycke,  xijd." 

Under  A.  D.  1499,  p.  214,  we  read :  "  Imprimis,  payed  for  wakyng  of  the  Sepulcr'  viiiJ.     It. 
payed  for  a  li.  of  encens.  xiid."  and  under  "  Receypt,"  "  It.  rec.  at  Estur  for  the  Pascall  xxxviis." 
Ibid.  p.  216,  under  1507  are  the  following: 

"  It.  paied  to  Sybel  Derling  for  nayles  for  the  Sepulcre,  and  for  rosyn  to  the  Resurrection 
play,  iid.  ob. 

It.  paied  to  John  Cokks  for  wryting  off  the  Fest  of  J'hu,  and  for  vi  hedds  and  herds  to  the 
church. 

It.  paied  a  carter  for  carying  of  pypys  and  hogshedds  into  the  Forbury,  ijd. 
It.  paied  to  the  laborers  in  the  Forbury  for  setting  up  off  the  polls  for  the  scaphoid,  ixd. 
It.  paied  for  bred,  ale,  and  here,  yt  longyd  to  ye  pleye  in  the  Forbury,  ij«.  jd. 
It.  payed  for  the  ii  Boks  of  the  Fest  of  J'hu  and  the  Vysytacyon  of  our  Lady,  ijs.  viijd. 
1508.  It.  payed  to  Water  Barton  for  xx  1.  wex  for  a  pascall  pic.  le  li.  vd.     S'ma  »iij».  iiijd. 
It.  payed  for  one  li  of  grene  flowr  to  the  foreseid  pascall,  vjd." 
Ibid.  p.  214,  sub  anno  1499.    "  It.  rec.  of  the  gaderyng  of  the  stage-play  xvhV 
Ibid.  p.  215,  under  the  same  year,  we  have: 

"  It.  payed  for  the  pascall  bason,  and  the  hanging  of  the  same,  xviii*. 
It.  payed  for  making  leng'  Mr.  Smyth's  molde,  wt  a  Judas  for  the  pascal!,  vid." 
,    P.  214.  "  It.  payed  for  the  pascall  and  the  fonte  taper  to  M.  Smyth  iiii*." 

P.  377.  St.  Giles's  parish,  A.  D.  1519.  "  Paid  for  making  a  Judas  for  the  pascall  iiiid. 
"  To  houl  over  the  paschal"  is  mentioned  among  the  customs  of  the  Roman  Catholics  censured 
by  John  Bale  in  his  "  Declaration  of  Bonner's  Articles;"  1554,  fol.  19. 


1S6  EASTER   EVE. 

As  if  so  be  this  foolish  toye  suffiseth  this  to  tell. 

Then  doth  the  bishop  or  the  priest  the  water  halow  straight, 

That  for  their  baptisme  is  reservde  :  for  now  no  more  of  waight 

Is  that  they  vsde  the  yeare  before ;  nor  can  they  any  more 

Young  children  christen  with  the  same,  as  they  have  done  before. 

With  wondrous  pomp  and  furniture  amid  the  church  they  go, 

With  candles,  crosses,  banners,  chrisme,  and  oyle  appoynted  tho' : 

Nine  times  about  the  font  they  marche,  and  on  the  Saintes  do  call ; 

Then  still  at  length  they  stande,  and  straight  the  priest  begins  withall. 

And  thrise  the  water  doth  he  touche,  and  crosses  thereon  make  ; 

Here  bigge  and  barbrous  wordes  he  speakes,  to  make  the  Deuill  quake ; 

And  holsome  waters  coniureth,  and  foolishly  doth  dresse  ; 

Supposing  holyar  that  to  make  which  God  before  did  blesse. 

And  after  this  his  candle  than  he  thrusteth  in  the  floode, 

And  thrice  he  breathes  thereon  with  breath  that  stinkes  of  former  foode. 

And  making  here  an  ende,  his  chrisme  he  poureth  thereupon, 

The  people  staring  hereat  stande,  amazed  every  one ; 

Beleaving  that  great  powre  is  given  to  this  water  here, 

By  gaping  of  these  learned  men,  and  such  like  trifling  gere. 

Therefore  in  vessels  brought  they  draw,  and  home  they  carie  some 

Against  the  grieues  that  to  themselves,  or  to  their  beastes  may  come. 

Then  clappers  ceasse,  and  belles  are  set  againe  at  libertee, 

And  herewithall  the  hungrie  times  of  fasting  ended  bee." 

On  Easter  Even  it  was  customary  in  our  own  country  to  light  the  churches 
with  what  were  called  Paschall  Tapers c. 


Among  the  ancient  annual  Disbursements  of  the  Church  of  St.  Mary  at  Hill,  1  find  the  following 
entry  against  Easter : 

"  Three  great  garlands  for  the  crosses,  of  roses  and  lavender  "I       „ 
Three  dozen  other  garlands  for  the  quire  ---------) 

The  same  also  occurs  in  the  Churchwardens  Accounts,  ibid.  1512.  Also,  among  the  Church- 
Disbursements,  ibid,  in  the  Waxchandler's  Accompt,  "for  making  the  pascal  at  Ester,  2*.  8d." 
"  For  garnishing  8  torches  on  Corpus  Christi  day,  2s.  8d."  Ibid.  1486.  "  At  Ester,  for  the  howslyn 
people  for  the  pascal,  11s.  5d." 

[A  more  particular  account  of  the  ceremony  of  the  Holy  Sepulchre,  as  used  in  this  and  other 
countries,  will  be  found  in  the  Vetusta  Monumenta  of  the  Society  of  Antiquaries,  vol.  iii.  pi.  xxxi. 
xxxii.] 

«  See  more  on  this  subject,  Gent.  Mag.  1796,  vol.  LXVI.  p.  293. 


137 


•    •••:•          •      •      •!.,:  •  . '»  ••••\iii  ,.    'iv;>  yfis  <\>( 

.4  tsHrrisAt  r       •"!  ii->ija  ypi;  •ra.il-ti  W      .»f»i.'.'..TJ'|/T>  !(•-='   '•'••  '•  'i; 

__ 
trri!   ');!•..;<;•  .  ;/.  O'ij 'bf/fi   :  ''ji'iffTMn  vtsffirp  Jjffim^"- 

"  .T  >/iV)*;j--iri  'ti   .{trip  :  «:iij  Jo  -vjiiori  C.KJ  ;ffso^  .osqi 
::i;   i;a-;  'int>  j«iil  vluo  ;lou  .sii'iitn.:  ol   Mod  '•.•)  vcm 

EASTER  DAY'. 


IT  was  formerly  a  custom  for  the  vulgar  and  uneducated  to  rise  early  on  this 
day  and  walk  into  the  fields  to  see  the  sun  dance b,  which,  as  antient  tradition 
asserts,  it  always  does  on  this  day.  This  is  now  pretty  much  laid  aside.  It 
had  not  escaped  the  notice  of  Sir  Thomas  Browne,  the  learned  author  of  the 
Vulgar  Errors,  who  has  left  us  the  following  quaint  thoughts  on  the  subject : 
"  We  shall  not,  I  hope,"  says  he,  "  disparage  the  Resurrection  of  our  Redeemer, 
if  we  say  that  the  sun  doth  not  dance  on  Easter  Dayc:  and  though  we  would 


a  "  Easter  is  so  called  from  the  Saxon  Oster,  to  rise,,  being  the  day  of  Christ's  Resurrection; 
or,  as  others  think,  from  one  of  the  Saxon  goddesses  called  Easter,  whom  they  always  worshipped 
at  this  season."  Wheatley  on  the  Common  Prayer,  8vo,  p.  234.  See  also  Gale's  Court  of  the  Gen- 
tiles, b.  ii.  c.  2. 

k  In  the  "Country-man's  Counseller,"  by  E.  P.  Philomath.  Lond.  1633,  p.  220,  is  the  following 
note:  "Likewise  it  is  observed,  that,  if  the  sunne  shine  on  Easter  Day,  it  shines  on  Whitsunday 
likewise." 

The  following  is  an  answer  to  a  query  in  the  Athenian  Oracle,  vol.  II.  p.  348  :  "  Why  does  the 
sun  at  his  rising  play  more  on  Easter  day  than  Whitsunday  ?" — "  The  matter  of  fact  is  an  old, 
weak,  superstitious  error,  and  the  sun  neither  plays  nor  works  on  Easter  day  more  than  any  other. 
It's  true,  it  may  sometimes  happen  to  shine  brighter  that  morning  than  any  other ;  but,  if  it  does, 
'tis  purely  accidental.  In  some  parts  of  England,  they  call  it  the  lamb-playing,  which  they  look 
for  as  soon  as  the  sun  rises  in  some  clear  spring  or  water,  and  is  nothing  but  the  pretty  reflection  it 
makes  from  the  water,  which  they  may  find  at  any  time,  if  the  sun  rises  clear,  and  they  themselves 
early,  and  unprejudiced  with  fancy." 

«  In  a  rare  book,  intitled,  "  Recreation  for  ingenious  Head  Pieces,"  &c.  8vo,  Lond.  1667, 1  find 
this  popular  notion  alluded  to  in  an  old  Ballad  : 

"  But,  Dick,  she  dances  such  away  ! 
No  sun  upon  an  Easter  day 
Is  half  so  fine  a  sight." 
VOL.    I.  T 


138  EASTER   DAY. 

willingly  assent  unto  any  sympathetical  exultation,  yet  we  cannot  conceive  therein 
any  more  than  a  tropical  expression.  Whether  any  such  motion  there  was  in 
that  day  wherein  Christ  arised,  Scripture  hath  not  revealed,  which  hath  been 
punctual  in  other  records  concerning  solary  miracles ;  and  the  Areopagite  that 
was  amazed  at  the  eclipse,  took  no  notice  of  this  :  and,  if  metaphorical  ex- 
pressions go  so  far,  we  may  be  bold  to  affirm,  not  only  that  one  sun  danced, 
but  two  arose  that  day;  that  light  appeared  at  his  nativity,  and  darkness  at 
his  death,  and  yet  a  light  at  both ;  for  even  that  darkness  was  a  light  unto  the 
Gentiles,  illuminated  by  that  obscurity.  That  'twas  the  first  time  the  sun  set 


In  the  "  British  Apollo,"  fol.  Lond.  1708,  vol.  I.  No.  40,  we  read  : 
Q.    Old  wives,  Phoebus,  say 
That  on  Easter  Day 

To  the  musick  o'  th'  spheres  you  do  caper. 
If  the  fact,  sir,  be  true, 
Pray  let  's  the  cause  know, 

When  you  have  any  room  in  your  Paper. 
A.    The  old  wives  get  merry, 
With  spic'd  ale  or  sherry, 

On  Easter,  which  makes  them  romance  ; 
And  whilst  in  a  rout 
Their  brains  whirl  about, 

They  fancy  we  caper  and  dance. 

I  have  heard  of,  when  a  boy,  and  cannot  positively  say  from  remembrance,  whether  I  have  not 
seen  tried,  an  ingenious  method  of  making  an  artificial  Sun-dance  on  Easter  Sunday.  A  vessel  full 
of  water  was  set  out  in  the  open  air,  in  which  the  reflected  sun  seemed  to  dance,  from  the  tremulous 
motion  of  the  water.  This  will  remind  the  classical  scholar  of  a  beautiful  simile  in  the  Loves  of 
Medea  and  Jason,  in  the  Argonautics  of  Apollonius  Rhodius,  where  it  is  aptly  applied  to  the  wa- 
vering reflections  of  a  love-sick  maiden. 

'HtXtov  taq  T*J  TE  OOJLKHS  In  waXXe/ai  aiyXtj 


iaviowra,  TO    ij  VEO» 
H?  wow  iy  yat/Xc?  Kt^vlut'  rt  J'(»9a  xat  itQa, 
'fttu'in  cTfo^aXiP/r  Tivticrcrslai  <iic7(roii<7<x' 

*n«  &  &c.—  Argonaut.  T.  1.  756.    Ed.  R.  F.  P.  Brunck,  8vo,  Argent.  1780. 

Reflected  from  the  sun's  far  cooler  ray, 

As  quiv'ring  beams  from  tossing  water  play 

(Pour'd  by  some  maid  into  her  beechen  bowl), 

And  ceaseless  vibrate  as  the  swellings  roll, 

So  heav'd  the  passions,  &c."—  J.  B. 


EASTER    DAT.  139 

above  the  horizon.     That,  although  there  were  darkness  above  the  earth,  yet 
there  was  li"ht  beneath  it,  nor  dare  we  say  that  Hell  was  dark  if  he  were  in  itd." 
Barnabe  Goo^e,  in  his  Adaptation  of  Naogeorgus,  has  thus  preserved  the 
ceremonies  of  the  day  in  "The  Popish  Kingdome,"  fol.  52.: 

"  At  midnight  then  with  carefull  minJe,  they  up  to  mattens  ries, 
The  Clarke  doth  come,  and,  after  him,  the  Priest  with  staring  eies." 
"  At  midnight  strait,  not  tarying  till  the  daylight  doe  appeere, 
Some  gettes  in  flesh  and  glutton  lyke,  they  feecle  upon  their  cheere. 
They  rost  their  flesh,  and  custardes  great,  and  egges  and  radish  store% 
Ana  trifles,  clouted  creauie,  and  cheese,  and  whatsoeuer  more 
At  first  they  list  to  eate,  they  bring  into  the  Temple  straight, 
That  so  the  Priest  may  halow  them  with  wordes  of  wond'rous  waight. 


*  In  Mr.  Lysons's  Environs  of  London,  vol.  i.  p.  230.  among  his  curious  extracts  from  the 
Churchwardens'  and  Chamberlain's  Books  at  Kingston -upon-Thames,  are  the  following  entries 

concerning  some  of  the  ancient  doings  on  Easter  Day : 

£.    s.    d. 

5  Hen.  VIII.     For  thred  for  the  Resurrection O01 

For  three  yerds  of  Dornek  for  a  pleyer's  cote,  and  the  makyng  -  O     1     3 

12  Hen.  VIII.     Paid  for  a  skin  of  parchment  and  gunpowder, -i 

f  O     O     o 
for  the  play  on  Easter  Day       ----------J 

For  brede  and  ale  for  them  that  made  the  stage,  and  other  i 
things  belonging  to  the  play   ----------  J 

By  the  subsequent  entry  these  pageantries  should  seem  to  have  been  continued  during  the  reign 
of  Queen  Elizabeth,  1565.  "  Recd  of  the  players  of  the  stage  at  Easter,  ll.  2s.  H</." 

e  In  "  The  Doctrine  of  the  Masse  Book,"  &c.  from  Wyttonburge,  by  Nicholas  Dorcastor,  8vo. 
1554.  Signat.  C.  b.  in  the  Form  of  "  the  halowing  of  the  Pascal  Lambe,  Egges,  and  Herbes,  on 
EASTER  DA  YE,"  the  following  passage  occurs:  "  O  God !  who  art  the  Maker  of  all  flesh,  who 
gavest  commaundements  unto  Noe  and  his  sons  concerning  cleane  and  uncleane  beastes,  who  hast 
also  permitted  mankind  to  eate  clean  four-footed  beastes,  even  as  Egges  and  green  herbs."  The 
Form  concludes  with  the  following  Kubrick  :  "  Afterward,  let  al  be  sprinkled  with  holye  water 
and  censed  by  the  priest." 

Dugdale,  in  his  Origines  Juridiciales,  p.  276.  speaking  of  Gray's  Inn  Commons,  says  :  "  In  23 
Eliz.  (7  Maii,)  there  was  an  agreement  at  the  cupboard,  by  Mr.  Attorney  of  the  Dutchy  and  all 
the  Readers  then  present,  that  the  dinner  on  Good  Friday,  which  had  been  accustomed  to  be 
made  at  the  cost  and  charges  of  the  chief  cook,  should  thenceforth  be  made  at  the  costs  of  the 
house,  with  like  provision  as  it  had  been  before  that  time.  And  likewise,  whereas  they  had  used 
to  have  Eggs  and  green  sauce  on  EASTER  DAY,  after  service  and  communion,  for  those  gentlemen 
who  came  to  breakfast,  that  in  like  manner  they  should  be  provided  at  the  charge  of  the  house." 


140  EASTER   DAY. 

The  Friers  besides,  and  pelting  Priestes,  from  house  to  house  do  roame, 

Receyving  gaine  of  every  man  that  this  will  have  at  home. 

Some  raddish  rootes  this  day  doe  take  before  all  other  meate, 

Against  the  quartan  ague,  and  such  other  sicknesse  great." 

"  Straight  after  this,  into  the  fieldes  they  walke  to  take  the  viewe, 

And  to  their  woonted  life  they  fall,  and  bid  the  reast  adewe." 

A  Writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine,  vol.  LIII.  for  July  1783.  p.  .573. 
conjectures  that  "  the  flowers,  with  which  many  churches  are  ornamented  on 
Easter  Day,  are  most  probably  intended  as  emblems  of  the  Resurrection,  hav- 
ing just  risen  again  from  the  earth,  in  which,  during  the  severity  of  winter,  they 
seem  to  have  been  buried'. 

"There  was  an  ancient  custom  at  Twickenham,  of  dividing  two  great 
cakes  in  the  church  upon  Easter  Day  among  the  young  people ;  but  it  being 
looked  upon  as  a  superstitious  relick,  it  was  ordered  by  Parliament,  1645,  that 
the  parishioners  should  forbear  that  custom,  and,  instead  thereof,  buy  loaves 
of  bread  for  the  poor  of  the  parish  with  the  money  that  should  have  bought  the 
Cakes.  It  appears  that  the  sum  of  £.  1 .  per  annum  is  still  charged  upon  the 
vicarage  for  the  purpose  of  buying  penny  loaves  for  poor  children  on  the 
Thursday  after  Easter.  Within  the  memory  of  man  they  were  thrown  from  the 
church-steeple  to  be  scrambled  for ;  a  custom  which  prevailed  also,  some  time 
ago,  at  Paddington,  and  is  not  yet  totally  abolished  s." 

Hasted,  in  his  History  of  Kent,  vol.  III.  p.  66,  speaking  of  Biddenden, 
tells  us,  that  "twenty  acres  of  land,  called  the  Bread  and  Cheese  Land,  lying 
in  five  pieces,  were  given  by  persons  unknown,  the  yearly  rents  to  be  distri- 
buted among  the  poor  of  this  parish.  This  is  yearly  done  on  Easter  Sunday, 
in  the  afternoon,  in  600  Cakes,  each  of  which  have  the  figures  of  two  women 


f  The  Festival,  1511.  fol.  36.  says:  " This  day  is  called,  in  many  places,  Godde's  Sondaye :  ye 
knowe  well  that  it  is  the  nianer— at  this  daye  to  do  the  fyre  out  of  the  hall,  and  the  blacke  wynter 
brondes,  and  all  thynges  that  is  foule  with  fume  and  smoke  shall  be  done  awaye,  and  there  the  fyre 
was  shall  be  gayly  arayed  with  fayre  floures,  and  strewed  with  grenc  Rysshes  all  aboute." 

In  Mr.  Nichols's  Illustrations  of  Antient  Manners  and  Expences,  4to.  1797.  in  the  Churchwar- 
den's Accompts  of  St.  Martin  Outwich,  London,  under  the  year  1535  is  the  following  item  : 

"  Paid  for  brome  ageynst  Ester,  id." 

«  Lysons's  Environs  of  London,  vol.  iii.  p.  603. 

'•  •  .-,:    ••>'  1         .-••r.'i-l  9tJj  JB  bfllti  ri.W  V  ?Mi.::. 


EASTER    DAY.  141 

impressed  on  them,  and  are  given  to  all  such  as  attend  the  church ;  and  270 
loaves,  weighing  three  pounds  and  a  half  a-piece,  to  which  latter  is  added  one 
pound  and  a  half  of  cheese,  are  given,  to  the  parishioners  only,  at  the  same 
time.  There  is  a  vulgar  tradition  in  these  parts,  that  the  figures  on  the  Cakes 
represent  the  donors  of  this  gift,  being  two  women,  twins,  who  were  joined  toge- 
ther in  their  bodies,  and  lived  together  so  till  they  were  between  twenty  and  thirty 
years  of  age.  But  this  seems  without  foundation.  The  truth  seems  to  be,  that 
it  was  the  gift  of  two  maidens,  of  the  name  of  Preston  ;  and  that  the  print  of 
the  women  on  the  Cakes  has  taken  place  only  within  these  fifty  years,  and  were 
made  to  represent  two  poor  widows,  as  the  general  objects  of  a  charitable  be- 
nefaction." 

The  following  I  copied  from  a  collection  of  Carols,  b.  I.  imperfect,  in  the 
collection  of  Francis  Douce,  esq. 

"  Soone  at  Easter  cometh  Alleluya, 
With  butter,  cheese,  and  a  Tansay:" 

which  reminds  one  of  the  passage  in  "The  Oxford  Sausage,"  p.  22: 
"On  Easter  Sunday  be  the  Pudding  seen, 
To  which  the  Tansey  lends  her  sober  green." 

On  Easter  Sunday,  as  I  learnt  from  a  Clergyman  of  Yorkshire,  the  young 
men  in  the  villages  of  that  county  have  a  custom  of  taking  off  the  young  girls' 
buckles.  On  Easter  Monday,  young  men's  shoes  and  buckles  are  taken  oft'  by 
the  young  women.  On  the  Wednesday  they  are  redeemed  by  little  pecuniary 
forfeits,  out  of  which  an  entertainment,  called  a  Tansey  Cake,  is  made,  with 
dancingh. 

The  following  is  from  Seward's  "Anecdotes  of  some  distinguished  Persons," 
vol.  I.  p.  35.  "  Charles,  i.  e.  the  fifth,  whilst  he  was  in  possession  of  his 
regal  dignity,  thought  so  slightingly  of  it,  that  when,  one  day,  in  passing  through 
a  village  in  Spain,  he  met  a  peasant  who  was  dressed  with  a  tin  crown  upon  his 
head,  and  a  spit  in  his  hand  for  a  truncheon,  as  the  EASTEK  KING  (according 


h  See  an  account  of  the  practice  of  this  custom  at  Rippon,  in  Yorkshire,  in  the  Gentleman's 
Magazine  for  August  1790.  p.  719.  where  it  is  added,  that,  "some  years  ago,  no  traveller  could 
pass  the  town  without  being  stopped,  and  having  his  spurs  taken  away,  unless  redeemed  by  a 
little  money,  which  is  the  only  way  to  have  your  buckles  returned." 


EASTER   DAT. 

to  the  custom  of  that  great  Festival  in  Spain),  who  told  the  Emperor  that  he 
should  take  off  his  hat  to  him  :  '  My  good  friend,'  replied  the  Prince,  '  1  wish 
you  joy  of  your  new  office ;  you  will  find  it  a  very  troublesome  one  I  can  assure 

you'." 

Mr.  Douce's  Manuscript  Notes  say :  "  It  was  the  practice  in  Germany  (dur- 
ing the  sixteenth  century,  at  least)  for  the  preachers  to  intermix  their  sermons 
with  facetious  siories  on  Easter  Day.  This  may  be  gathered  from  the  "  Convi- 
vialium  Sermonum  Liber."  Bas.  1542.  sig.  K.  8. 


OF  EASTER  EGGS : 
commonly  called  Pasche,  or  Paste  Eggs*. 

THE  learned  Court  de  Gebelin,  in  his  Religious  History  of  the  Calendar, 
vol.  iv.  p.  £5 1 .)  informs  us  that  this  custom  of  giving  Eggs  at  Easter  is  to  be 
traced  up  to  the  Theology  and  Philosophy  of  the  Egyptians11,  Persians,  Gauls, 

1  A  superstitious  practice  appears  to  have  prevailed  upon  the  Continent,  of  abstaining  from  flesh 
on  Easter  Sunday,  to  escape  a  fever  for  the  whole  year  I  know  not  whether  it  ever  reached  this 
Island.  It  was  condemned  by  the  Provincial  Council  of  Reims  in  15b3j  and  by  that  of  Toulouse 
in  159O.  See  "  Traite  des  Superstitions,"  &c.  ISmo.  Par.  1679.  torn.  i.  p.  319.  320. 

The  following  is  taken  from  the  Antiquarian  Repertory,  No.  26.  4to.  Lond.  1780.  vol.  iii.  p.  44. 
from  the  MS  Collections  of  Mr.  Aubrey,  in  the  Ashmolean  Museum  at  Oxford,  dated  1678  :  "The 
first  dish  that  was  brought  up  to  the  table  on  Easter  Day,  was  a  red-herring  riding  away  on  horse- 
back ;  i.  e.  a  herring  ordered  by  the  cook  something  after  the  likeness  of  a  man  on  horseback, 
set  in  a  corn-sallad.  The  custom  of  eating  a  gammon  of  bacon  at  Easter,  which  is  still  kept  up 
in  many  parts  of  England,  was  founded  on  this,  viz.  to  shew  their  abhorrence  to  Judaism  at  that 
solemn  commemoration  of  our  Lord's  Resurrection." 

*  Coles,  in  his  Latin  Dictionary,  renders  the  Pasch,  or  Easter  Egg,  by  "  Ovum  Paschale,  cro- 
ceum,  seu  luteum."  It  is  plain,  from  hence,  that  he  was  acquainted  with  the  custom  of  dying  or 
staining  Eggs  at  this  season.  Ainsworth  leaves  out  these  two  epithets,  calling  it  singly  "  Ovum 
Paschale."  I  presume  he  knew  nothing  of  this  ancient  custom,  and  has  therefore  omitted  the 
"  croceum"  and  "  luteum,"  because  it  is  probable  he  did  not  understand  them.  It  is  in  this  man- 
ner that  many  English  Dictionaries  have  been  improved  in  modern  editions. 

b  Hutchinson,  in  his  History  of  Northumberland,  vol.  ii.  p.  1O.  ad  finem,  speaking  of1  Pasche 
Eggt,  says  :  "  Eggs  were  held  by  the  Egyptians  as  a  sacred  emblem  of  the  renovation  of  mankind 
after  thi  Deluge.  The  Jews  adopted  it  to  suit  the  circumstances  of  their  history,  as  a  type  of 


EASTER   EGGS.  143 

Greeks,  Romans,  &c.c  among  all  of  whom  an  Egg  was  an  emblem  of  the  uni- 
verse, the  work  of  the  supreme  Divinity. 

Le  Brim,  in  his  Voyages,  (fol.  torn.  i.  p.  19 1  )  tells  us  that  the  Persians,  on 
the  20th  of  March,  1704,  kept  ihe  Festival  of  the  Solar  New  Year,  which  he 
says  lasted  several  days,  when  they  mutually  presented  each  other,  among  other 
things,  with  coloured  Eggs. 

Easter,  says  Gebelin,  and  the  New  Year,  have  been  marked  by  similar  dis- 
tinctions :  among  the  Persians,  the  New  Year  is  looked  upon  as  the  renewal  of 
all  things,  and  is  noted  for  the  triumph  of  the  Sun  of  Nature,  as  Easter  is  with 


their  departure  from  the  land  of  Egypt ;  and  it  was  used  in  the  feast  of  the  Passover  as  part  of 
the  furniture  of  the  table,  with  the  Paschal  Lamb.  The  Christians  have  certainly  used  it  on  this 
day,  as  retaining  the  elements  of  future  life,  for  an  emblem  of  the  Resurrection.  It  seems  as  if 
the  Egg  was  thus  decorated  for  a  religious  trophy  after  the  days  of  mortification  and  abstinence 
were  over,  and  festivity  had  taken  place;  and  as  an  emblem  of  the  resurrection  of  life,  certified 
to  us  by  the  Resurrection,  from  the  regions  of  death  and  the  grave." 

The  antient  Egyptians,  if  the  resurrection  of  the  body  had  been  a  tenet  of  their  faith,  would 
perhaps  have  thought  an  Egg  no  improper  hieroglyphical  representation  of  it.  The  exclusion  of 
a  living  creature  by  incubation,  after  the  vital  principle  has  lain  a  long  while  dormant,  or  seem- 
ingly extinct,  is  a  process  so  truly  maiTellous,  that,  if  it  could  be  disbelieved,  would  be  thought 
by  some  a  thing  as  incredible  to  the  full,  as  that  the  Author  of  Life  should  be  able  to  reanimate 
the  dead. 

A  Writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine,  vol.  LIU.  for  July  1783.  p.  578.  supposes  the  Egg  at 
Easter  "  an  emblem  of  the  rising  up  out  of  the  grave,  in  the  same  manner  as  the  chick,  entombed, 
as  it  were,  in  the  Egg,  is  in  due  time  brought  to  life." 

I  h'nd  the  following  in  the  "  Ovi  Encomium  Eryci  Puteani,"  preserved  in  a  curious  little  book, 
entitled,  "  Dissertalionum  ludicrarum  et  amoenitatum  Scriptores  varii."  12mo.  Lugd.  Bat.  1644. 
p.  639. — "  Paschale  autem  Ovum  nemo  ignorat,  ubique  celebratur."  And,  p.  612:  "Candidum 
Ovum  est  et  omnes  tamen  colores  admittit — et  nunc  ftaeum,  mine  rubrum,  nunc  coeruleum,  patrii 
Ritus  faciunt."  Speaking,  at  p.  634.  of  Eggs  among  the  Antients,  he  says:  "Ovum  tanta  reli- 
gione  dignum  erat,  Ovum  expiabat ;  Ovum  purificabat ;  Ovum  aqua,  igni,  aere  praestantius  sanc- 
tiusque  habebatur."  He  has  the  subsequent  at  p.  639  :  "  Honoris  et  amoris  signum  Ovum  est  :** 
and  observes  ibid.  p.  59!).  "  Jam  vero  Ovi  naturam  et  Gallinae  puerperium  si  inspiciam,  cedent  et 
Araneorum  doli,  et  Apum  solertia,  ct  formicarum  labor." 

c  "  Plinie,  (Hist.  Nat.  liv.  xix.  ch.  7.  &  liv.  xxiv.  ch.  11.)  dit  que  chez  les  Remains,  les  jeunes 
gens  peignoient  les  oeufs  en  rouge,  &  les  employoient  a  diffeYens  jeux. 

"  On  les  faisoit  entrer  aussi  dans  diverses  ce're'tnonies,  &  sur-tout  dans  celles  des  expiations, 
comme  on  le  voit  dans  Juvenal  (Sat.  vi.)  &  dans  Ovide  (Ars  amandi).  Ce  dernier  peint  une  vieille 
qui  d'une  main  tremblante  fait  des  lustrations  avec  du  soufre  et  des  oeufs :  le  premier  nous  apprend 
qu'on  faisoit  des  expiations  avec  cent  ceufs  a  1'Equinoxe  d'Automne,  pour  cchapper  aux  ravages 
de  cette  suiion  &  des  vents  du  Midi."  Gebelin,  torn.  iv.  253. 


144  EASTER   EGGS. 

Christians  for  that  of  the  Sun  of  Justice,  the  Saviour  of  the  World,  over  death, 
by  his  Resurrection d. 

The  Feast  of  the  New  Year,  he  adds,  was  celebrated  at  the  Vernal  Equinox, 
that  is,  at  a  time  when  the  Christians,  removing  their  New  Year  to  the  Winter 
Solstice,  kept  only  the  Festival  of  Easter.  Hence,  with  the  latter,  the  Feast  of 
Eggs  has  been  attached  to  Easter,  so  that  Eggs  are  no  longer  made  presents  of 
at  the  New  Year6. 

Father  Carmeli,  in  his  History  of  Customs f,  tells  us  that,  during  Easter  and 
the  following  days,  hard  Eggs,  painted  of  different  colours,  but  principally  red, 
are  the  ordinary  food  of  the  season. 

In  Italy,  Spain,  and  in  Provence,  says  he,  where  almost  every  antient  super- 
stition is  retained,  there  are  in  the  public  places  certain  sports  ivith  Eggs. 

This  custom  he  derives  from  the  Jews  or  the  Pagans,  for  he  observes  it  is 
common  to  both. 

d  "  Pdskegg  dicebantur  OVA,  quze  varie  ornata,  varioque  colore  inducta,  inuneris  loco  olim 
tempore  Paschatis  mittebantur,  idque  in  niemoriam  redeuntis  libertatis  ova  manducandi,  quae  sub 
jejunii  tempore,  durante  CatholicLsmo,  interdicta  erant.  Apud  Muschovitas  obviis  quibusvis  hono- 
ris causa  ova  offerri,  immo  ipsi  Iniperatori  hoc  munere  litari,  decent  Itinerum  Scriptores."  Glos- 
sarium  Suiogothicum  :  auctore  .Tohanne  Ihre.  fol.  Dps.  1769.  torn.  i.  p.  390.  v.  EGG. 

c  Gebelin,  ut  supra. 

f  "  Le  P.  Carmeli,  dans  son  Histoire  ties  Usages,  rapporte  divers  faits  relatifs  a  celui-ci  '  Pendant 
les  Fetes  de  Paques,  dit-il,  &  les  jours  suivans,  on  mange  ordinairement  des  ceufs  durs  qu'on  peint 
en  diffe'rentes  couleurs,  mais  principalement  en  rouge.  En  Italie,  en  Espagne,  &  en  Provence 
ou  Ton  a  conserve1  presque  toutes  les  superstitions  anciennes,  on  fait  dans  les  places  publiques 
certains  jeux  avec  des  ceufs.'  II  ajoute  que  cet  usage  vient  des  Juifs  ou  des  Payens ;  qu'on  trouve 
du  moins  cet  usage  chez  les  uns  et  chez  lez  autres. 

"  Les  femmes  Juives  p^oient  a  la  Fete  de  Paques,  sur  une  table  pr6pare"e  pour  cela,  des  ceufs 
durs,  symbole  d'un  oiseau  appelle  Ziz,  sur  lequel  les  Rabbins  ont  de'bite'  mille  fables." 

The  Jews,  in  celebrating  their  Passover,  placed  on  the  table  two  unleavened  cakes,  and  two 
pieces  of  the  Lamb :  to  this  they  added  some  small  Fishes,  because  of  the  Leviathan  :  a  hard  Egg, 
because  of  the  bird  Ziz :  some  Meal,  because  of  the  Behemoth:  these  three  animals  being,  ac- 
cording to  their  Rabbinical  Doctors,  appointed  for  the  feast  of  the  elect  in  the  other  life. 

I  saw  at  the  window  of  a  baker's  shop  in  London,  on  Easter  Eve  1805,  a  Passover  Cake,  with 
four  Eggs,  bound  in  with  slips  of  paste,  crossways,  in  it.  I  went  into  the  shop,  and  enquired  of 
the  baker  what  it  meant :  he  assured  me  it  was  a  Passover  Cake  for  the  Jews. 

"  On  y  fit  aussi  des  deffenees  de  vendre  des  ceufs  de  couleur  apres  Pasques,  parce  que  les  enfans 
s'en  joiioyent  auparavant,  qui  estoit  de  mauvais  exemple."  Satyrre  Menippee  de  la  Vertu  du  Ca- 
tholicon  d'Espagne.  8vo.  1595.  fol.  94.  The  English  version  of  this  work  renders  ceufs  de  couleur 
speckled  Eggs. 


EASTEtt    EGGS.  '145 

The  Jewish  wives,  at  the  Feast  of  the  Passover,  upon  a  table  prepared  for 
that  purpose,  place  hard  Eggs,  the  symbols  of  a  bird  called  Ziz,  concerning 
which  the  Rabbins  have  a  thousand  fabulous  accounts. 

The  learned  Hyde,  in  his  Oriental  Sports  s,  tells  us  of  one  with  Eggs  among 
the  Christians  of  Mesopotamia  on  Easter  Day  and  forty  days  afterwards,  during 
which  time  their  children  buy  themselves  as  many  Eggs  as  they  can,  and  stain 
them  with  a  red  colour  in  memory  of  the  blood  of  Christ,  shed  as  at  that  time 
of  his  Crucifixion.  Some  tinge  them  with  green  and  yellow.  Stained  Eggs  arc 
sold  all  the  while  in  the  market.  The  sport  consists  in  striking  their  Eggs  one 
against  another,  and  the  Egg  that  first  breaks  is  won  by  the  owner  of  the  Egg 
that  struck  it.  Immediately  another  Egg  is  pitted  against  the  winning  Egg,  and 
so  they  go  on,  (as  in  that  barbarous  sport  of  a  Welsh-main  at  Cockfighting,)  till 
the  last  remaining  Egg  wins  all  the  others,  which  their  respective  owners  shall 
before  have  won. 

This  sport,  lie  observes,  is  not  retained  in  the  midland  parts  of  England,  but 


*  "  De  Ludis  Orientalibus,"  8vo.  Oxon.  1691.  p.  237.  "De  Ludo  Ovorura."  "Is  apud  Meso- 
potamienses  Christianos  exerceri  solet  a  tempore  Paschatis  inde  per  40  dies ;  unde  illud  Anni  tern- 
pus  quo  iste  Ludus  incipit  &  exercetur,  in  Orientalium  Calendariis  Turcice  vocatur  Kizil  Yumur- 
da,  &  quod  idem  sonat  Persic^  Beida  surch ;  i.  e.  Ovum  rabrum,  quod  quidem  tenipus  in  Turclcis 
Calendariis  mense  Adar  seu  Martio  invenies.  Hoc  enim  tempore  Christianorum  pueri  emunt  sibi 
quotquot  possunt  Ova,  qua  etiam  rubro  colore  inficiunt,  in  memoriam  effusi  sanguinis  Salvatoris 
eo  tempore  crucifixi.  Aliqui  autem  ex  eis  primi  Instituti  sive  ignari  sive  immcmores,  viridi  aut 
tiavo  Ova  sua  subinde  tingunt.  jQuin  et  in  ipso  Foro  sunt  homines  qui  dicto  tcmporc  Ova  hoc 
modo  tincta  vendunt. 

"  Ludus  iu  eo  cofisistit,  ut  unus  puer  manu  teneat  Ovum  ita  ut  sola  ejus  extremitas  in  superiore 
parte  manus  inter  Pollicis  &  Indicis  complexum  appareat :  dum  alter  alio  Ovo  tanquam  Malleolo 
superne  ferit  pulsatqwe  leniter.  Ille  autem  cujus  Ovo  accidit  confusio  aut  levior  aliqua  fractura, 
vincitur,  illudqne  suum  Ovum  dicto  modo  eontusum  perdit.  Et  sic  deinceps  proceditur.  Post- 
quam  verb  pro  multis  Ovis  luserunt,  ille  qui  ultimus  vincit,  oninia  quotquot  Ova  alter  lucratus 
fuerat,  reportat.  Hujusmodi  autem  Ova  Me  ratkme  non  ita  viliantur,  quin  postea  pro  minor! 
pretk)  pauperibus  facile  vendantur. 

"  Si  quis  fraude  utitur,  &  artc  aliqua  Ova  sua  ita  indurat  nt  ab  allero  frangi  nequeant ;  quando 
fraus  detecta  est,  si  ^ir  adttltus  sit,  ab  Officiario  Turcico  punitur;  si  puer,  ejus  parentes  mulctan- 
tur.  Nam  Turcae  libenter  arripiunt  omnem  occasionem  qu£i  justitiam  in  Christianos  exerceant. 

"  Et  quia  hie  est  Ludus  Aleae,  i.  e.  a  sorte  et  fortuna  pendens,  a  Mohammedanis  legum  Docto- 
ribus  improbstur,  &  in  Alcorano  ipso  nomination  damnatur,  utpote  qui  etiam  faerit  Chrisrtanoruin 
Institutum." 

VOt.    I,  C 


146  EASTER    EGGS. 

seems  to  be  alluded  to  in  the  old  proverb,  "An  Egg  at  Easter,"  because  the 
liberty  to  eat  Eggs  begins  again  at  that  Festival,  and  thence  must  have  arisen 
this  festive  Egg-game. 

For  neither  the  Papists,  nor  those  of  the  Eastern  Church,  eat  Eggs  during 
Lent,  but  at  Easter  begin  again  to  eat  them.  And  hence  the  Egg-feast  for- 
merly at  Oxford,  when  the  scholars  took  leave  of  that  kind  of  food,  on  the 
Saturday  after  Ash-Wednesday,  on  what  is  called  "  Cleansing  Weekh." 

In  the  North  of  England,  continues  Hyde,  in  Cumberland  and  Westmor- 
land, boys  beg,  on  Easter  Eve,  Eggs  to  play  with,  and  beggars  ask  for  them 
to  eat.  These  Eggs  are  hardened  by  boiling,  and  tinged  with  the  juice  of  herbs, 
broom-flowers,  &c.  The  Eggs  being  thus  prepared,  the  boys  go  out  and  play 
with  them  in  the  fields :  rolling  them  up  and  down,  like  bowls,  upon  the  ground, 
or  throwing  them  up,  like  balls,  into  the  air.  Thus  far  Hyde'.  Eggs,  stained 
with  various  coloursk  in  boiling,  and  sometimes  covered  with  leaf-gold,  are  at 


h  "  Hie  Lucius  non  retinetur  in  mediis  partibus  Anglise,  sed  subinnui  videtur  proverbial!  Dicto 
an  Egge  at  Easter*,  &  in  Septentrione  Angliae  an  Egge  at  Paese,  i.  e.  Ovum  in  Paschate  j  quia 
redeunte  Paschate,  redit  etiam  Ova  edendi  Licentia,  &  propterea  erat  Festivalis  Ovomm  Ludus. 
Nam  nee  Papicolae  nee  Christiani  Orientates  durante  Quadragesimal  edunt  Ova,  donee  venial  Fes- 
tum  Paschatis  :  &  tune  ineipiunt.  Et  sic  olim  in  Univcrsitate  Oxoniensi  :  idedque  usque  hodie 
(quamvis  jam  in  Quadr.  edainus  Ova.)  quasi  non  edercmus  ea,  prsemittimus  Festvm  Ovorum  vale- 
dictorium  inounte  Quadragesima,  sc.  primo  die  Saturni  post  diem  Cinerum,  ea  Septimana  quae 
ideb  vocatur  Cleansing  Week,  quft  consumuutur  Carnes  apud  nos  reliquae,  nullas  novas  empturi 
nisi  finita  Quadr.  Tune  enim  Carnes  £  Ova  rursus  edere  ordimur,  Festivitatem  Paschalem  Ludis 
ac  ovationibus  celebrando." 

1  "  Hoc  auteni  praecipue  fit  in  Boreali  paite  Angliee,  sc.  in  Cumbria  &  Westmeria,  &c.  Ibi 
cnim  vesperi  Pasehatis  pauperes  emendicant  Ova  ed  edendum,  pueri  ad  ludendum.  Haecce  ver6 
Ova  coquendo  indurata  sunt,  &  herbarum  succo  tincta,  nunc  rubedine,  nunc  virore,  aliisve  colo- 
ribus.  Flava  tingi  solent  floribus  Genistas  aculeatae  aut  Narcissi,  rubra  corticibus  Cueparum,  viri- 
dia  fere  cujusvis  herbae  succo,  obscure  nigricantia  corticibus  Alneis,  coerulea  Indico  ;  quae  quidem 
res  tincloriae  induntur  eocturaa  una  cum  Alumine  ad  firmandum  colores.  Ovis  hoc  uiodo  paratis, 
pueri  in  Campos  exeuntes  Ovorum  Luduni  exercent  magno  cum  gaudio,  Ovis  tinctis  varie  lu- 
dcndo ;  scil.  vet  in  ae'rem  ad  instar  Pilarum  jaciendo,  vet  dando  &  exoipiendo,  vet  ad  instar  Glo- 
bulorum  hum!  volvendo,  pterunxjue  ita  ut  sint  obvia  aliorum  Ovis,  &  eis  occurentia  frangant: 
&  alia  id  genus  factitando,  quae  a  Borealibus  hominibus  melius  inquirantur." 

k  In  the  neighbourhood  of  Newcastle  they  are  tinged  yellow  with  the  blossoms  of  Furze,  called 

*  In  Kay's  Proverbs  it  is  given  thus:  "1  '11  warrant  you  for  an  Egg  at  Easter." 


EASTER    EGGS.  147 

Easter  presented  to  children,  at  Xewcastle-upon-Tyne,  and  other  places  in  the 
North,  where  these  young  gentry  ask  for  their  "  Paste  Eggs,"  as  for  a  fairing, 
at  this  season1.  "l>asie"is  plainly  a  corruption  of  "Pasque,"  Easter. 

That  the  Church  of  Rome  has  considered  Eggs  as  emblematical  of  the  Resur- 
rection, may  be  gathered  from  the  subsequent  prayer™,  which  the  reader  will 

<»'.»¥/,  I  I     -III  ft    -•  '  .  I*  *        .liT'ISil    i    ')  !)!i  '    '/!'*  .•;»;      :         ;!;        [  " 

there  Whin-bloom.  A  curious  tract  in  quarto,  1644,  lies  before  me,  entitled,  "To  Sion's  Lovers, 
being  a  golden  Egge,  to  avoitle  Infection/'  &c.  a  title  undoubtedly  referring  to  this  superstition. 

1  In  a  curious  Roll  of  the  Expences  of  the  Household  of  Edward  the  First,  in  his  eighteenth 
year,  remaining  in  the  Tower  of  London,  communicated  to  the  Society  of  Antiquaries  by  Samuel 
Lysons,  esq.  March  7th,  1SO5,  is  the  following  item  in  the  Accounts  of  Easter  Sunday : 

"  For  four  hundred  and  a  half  of  Eggs,  eighteen  pence:" 

highly  interesting  to  the  investigator  of  our  antient  manners :  not  so  much  on  account  of  the 
smallness  of  the  sum  which  purchased  them,  as  for  the  purpose  for  which  so  great  a  quantity  was 
procured  on  this  day  in  particular:  i.  e.  in  order  to  have  them  stained  in  boiling,  or  covered  with 
leaf  gold,  and  to  be  afterwards  distributed  to  the  Royal  Household.  This  record  is  in  Latin,  and 
the  original  item  runs  thus :  "  Pro  iiijc.  di'  ov'  xviijJ." 

01  The  following,  from  Emilianne's  "  Frauds  of  Romish  Monks  and  Priests,"  is  much  to  our 
purpose:  "On  Easter  Eve  and  Easter  Day,  all  the  heads  of  families  send  great  chargers,  full  of 
hard  Eggs,  to  the  Church,  to  get  them  blessed,  which  the  priests  perform  by  saying  several  ap- 
pointed prayers,  and  making  great  signs  of  the  Cross  over  them,  and  sprinkling  them  with  holy 
water.     The  priest,  having  finished  the  ceremony,  demands  how  many  dozen  eggs  there  be  in 
every  bason  >"****<•  These  blest  Eggs  have  the  virtue  of  sanctifying  the  entrails  of  the  body, 
and  are  to  be  the.  first  fat  or  fleshy  nourishment  they  take  after  the  abstinence  of  Lent.    The  Ita- 
lians do  not  only  abstain  from  flesh  during  Lent,  but  also  from  Eggs,  cheese,  butter,  and  all 
white  meats.     As  soon  as  the  Eggs  are  blessed,  every  one  carries  his  portion  home,  and  causeth  a 
large  table  to  be  set  in  the  best  room  in  the  house,  which  they  cover  with  their  best  linen,  all  be- 
strewed with  flowers,  and  place  round  about  it  a  dozen  dishes  of  meat,  and  the  great  charger  of 
Eggs  in  the  midst.     'Tis  a  very  pleasant  sight  to  see  these  tables  set  forth  in  the  houses  of  great 
persons,  when  they  expose  on  side-tables  (round  about  the  chamber)  all  the  plate  they  have  in  the 
house,  and  whatever  else  they  have  that  is  rich  and  curious,  in  honour  to  their  Easter  Eggs, 
which  of  themselves  yield  a  very  fair  show,  for  the  shells  of  them  are  all  painted  with  divers  colours, 
and  gilt.     Sometimes  they  are  no  less  than  twenty  dozen  in  the  same  charger,  neatly  laid  together 
in  form  of  a  pyramid.     The  table  continues,  in  the  same  posture,  covered,  all  the  Easter  week, 
and  all  those  who  come  to  visit  them  in  that  time  are  invited  to  eat  an  Eastern  Egg  with  them, 
which  they  must  not  refuse." 

In  "The  Beehive  of  the  Romishe  Churche,"  8vo.  Lond.  1579.  fol.  14  b.  Easter  Eggs  occur  in 
the  following  list  of  Romish  superstitions :  "  Fasting  Daves,  Years  of  Grace,  Differences  and 
Diversities  of  Dayes,  of  Meates,  of  Clothing,  of  Candles,  *  *  *  *  Holy  Ashes,  Holy  Pace  Eggs 


K ASTER    EGGS. 

find  in  an  Extract  from  the  Ritual  of  Pope  Paul  the  Filth,  for  the  use  of  Eng- 
land, Ireland,  and  Scotland.  It  contains  various  other  forms  of  benediction. 
"Bless,  O  Lord!  we  beseech  thee,  this  thy  creature  of  Eggs,  that  it  may  be- 
come a  wholesome  sustenance  to  thy  faithful  servants,  eating  it  in  thankfulness 
to  thee,  on  account  of  the  Resurrection  of  our  Lord,"  &cn. 

This  custom  still  prevails  in  the  Greek  Church.  Dr.  Chandler,  in  his  Travels 
in  Asia  Minor,  gives  the  following  account  of  the  manner  of  celebrating  Easter 
amoncr  the  modern  Greeks:  "The  Greeks  now  celebrated  Easter.  A  small 

O 

bier,  prettily  deckt  with  orange  and  citron  buds,  jasmine,  flowers,  and  boughs, 
was  placed  in  the  church,  with  a  Christ  crucified,  rudely  painted  on  board,  for 
the  body.  We  saw  it  in  the  evening,  and,  before  day-break,  were  suddenly 
awakened  by  the  blaze  and  crackling  of  a  large  bonefire,  with  singing  and  shout- 
ing, in  honour  of  the  Resurrection.  They  made  us  presents  of  coloured  Eggs 
and  Cakes  of  Easter  Bread." 

and  Flanes,  Palmes  and  Palme  Boughes,  *  *  *  *  Staves,  Fooles  Hoods,  Shelles  and  Belles,  Paxes, 
Licking  of  Rotten  Bones,"  &c.  The  last  articles  relate  to  Pilgrims  and  Reli^ues. 

Mr.  Deuce's  MS  Notes  say :  "  the  Author  of  "  Le  Voyageur  a  Paris,"  torn.  ii.  p.  1 12.  supposes 
that  the  practice  of  painting  and  decorating  Eggs  at  Easter,  amongst  the  Catholics,  arose  from 
the  joy  which  was  occasioned  by  their  returning  to  this  favourite  food  after  so  long  an  abstinence 
from  them  during  Lent.  "  Dans  plusieurs  villes,"  he  adds,  "  les  clercs  des  Eglises,  les  etudians 
des  Ecoles  et  les  autres  jeune  Gens,  s'assemblaient  sur  une  place  au  bruit  des  Sonnette=  et  des  Tam- 
bours, portant  des  etandarts  burlesques  pour  se  rendre  a  TEglise  principals,  on  its  chantoient 
laudes  avant  de  commence!'  leur  quele  d'ceufs." 

In  the  antfent  Calendar  of  the  Romish  Church,  to  which  I  have  so  often  referred,  I  find  the 
following : 

"  Oca  annunciates,  ut  aiunt,  reponuntur," 

i.  e.  Eggs  laid  on  the  Annunciation  of  the  Virgin  Mary  are  laid  by.  This  must  have  been  for  some 
such  purpose  as  the  following :  "  ad  hanc  superstitionem  diariam  referendi  quoque  sunt, — qui 
Ova,  qua:  Gallinaj  pariunt  die  Parasceues,  toto  asservant  anno,  qitia  creditnt  ea  vim  lutLere  ad 
extinguenda  incendia,  si  in  ignem  injiciantur."  Delrio  Disquis.  Magic,  lib.  iii.  p.  2.  Quaest.  4.  sect  6. 
edit.  fol.  Lugd.  1612.  p.  2O5. 

Le  Bran,  too,  iu  his  "  Superstitions  anciennes  et  modernes,"  says  that  some  people  keep  Eggs 
laid  on  Good  Friday  all  the  year. 

i>  "Subveniat,  qurcsumus,  Domfne,  tuae  benedictionis  gratia,  hui'c  Ovorum  creature,  ut  cibu» 
aalubris  fiat  fidelibus  tuis  in  tuarum  gratiarum  actione  sumentibus,  ob  resurrectionem  Domini 
nostri  Jesu  Christi,  qui  tecum  vivit,"  &c.  Ordo  Baptizandi,  &c.  ex  Rituali  Romano  jussu  Pauli 
tj  edito ;  pro  Anglia,  Hibernia,  &  Scotia.  J2mo.  Par.  1657.  p.  133. 


EASTER   EGGS. 

Easter  Day,  says  the  Abbe  d'  Auteroche,  in  his  Journey  to  Siberia,  is  set 
apart  for  visiting  in  Russia.  A  Russian  came  into  my  room,  offered  me  his 
hand,  and  gave  me,  at  the  same  time,  an  Egg-.  Another  followed,  who  also- 
embraced,  and  gave  me  an  Egg.  I  gave,  him,  in  return,  the  Egg  which  I  had  just 
before  received.  The  men  go  to  each  other's  houses  in  the  morning,  and  intro- 
duce themselves  by  saying,  "Jesus  Christ  is  risen."  The  answer  is — "Yes,  he 
is  risen."  The  people  then  embrace,  give  each  other  Eggs>  and  drink  a  great 
deal  of  brandy. 

The  subsequent  extract  from  Ilakluyt's  Voyages"  is  of  an  older  date,  and 
shews  how  little  the  custom  has  varied : 

"They  (the  Russians)  have  an  order  at  Easter,  which  they  alwaies  observe, 
and  that  is  this  :  every  yeerc,  against  Easter,  to  die  or  colour  red,  with  Brazzel 
(Brazil  wood),  a  great  number  of  Egges,  of  which  every  man  and  woman  giveth 
one  unto  the  priest  of  the  parish  upon  Easter  Day  in  the  morning.  And.  more- 
over, the  common  people  use  to  carrie  in  their  hands  one  of  these  red  Egges,  not 
only  upon  Easter  Day,  but  also  three  or  foure  days  after,  and  gentlemen  and 
gentlewomen  have  Egges  gilded?,  which  they  carry  in  like  maner.  They  use  it, 
as  they  say,  for  a  great  love,  and  in  token  of  the  Resurrection,  whereof  they  rejoice. 
For  when  two  friends  meete  during  the  Easter  Ilolydayes,  they  come  and  take 
one  another  by  the  hand ;  the  one  of  them  saith,  '  The  Lord,  or  Christ,  is 
risen;'  the  other  answereth,  'It  is  so,  of  a  tructh;'  and  then  they  kiss,  and 
exchange  their  Egges,  both  men  and  women,  continuing  in  kissing  four  dayes  to- 
gether." Our  antient  Y^oyagc-writer  means  no  more  here,  it  should  seem,  than 
that  the  ceremony  was  kept  up  for  four  days^. 

0  Fol.  Lond.  1589.  b.  1.  p.  34-2. 

'  Dr.  Chandler,  in  his  Travels  in  Greece,  tells  us,  that,  at  the  city  of  Zante,  "  He  saw  a  woman 
,in  a  house,  with  the  door  open,  bewailing  her  little  son,  whose  dead  body  lay  by  her,  dressed, 
the  hair  powdered,  the  face  paintedj  and  bedecked  with  leaf-gold." 

1  Gcbelin  cites  Mons.  le  Brun  to  the  following'  effect :  "  Le  meme  Voyageur  s'etoit  trouvl  h 
Moscow  deux  Annces  auparavant,  au  terns  ofi  Ton  ce'lebroit  la  meme  FSte.     Le  5  Avril,  170?, 
dit-il,  (torn.  i.  fol.  p.  33.)  on  solemnisa  la  Fete  de  Paqucs.  Les  cloches  ne  cesscnt  pas  de  sonner  pen- 
dant toute  la  nuit  qui  pre'ce'de  cette  F6te,  le  jour  meme,  &  le  Icudemain.  Ils  commencent  a  se  donner 
de=  CEitfs  de  Paques,  &  ccla  dure  pendant  15  jours.    Cette  coutume  se  pratique  panni  les  grands 
&  les  petits,  les  vieux  &  les  jeunes,  qui  s'en  donnent  mutuellement ;  les  Boutiques  en  sent  rcni- 
plies  de  tous  cfites,  qui  sont  teiuts  &  boullis.  La  couk-ur  la  plus  ordinaire  est  cette  d'une  prune 


150 


i  fii  jinHf :  v  .       :•  .^> 
EASTER  HOLIDAYS. 

EASTER  has  ever  been  considered  by  the  Church  as  a  season  of  great  festi- 
vity*. Belithus,  a  ritualist  of  antient  times,  tells  us  that  it  was  customary  in 
some  churches  for  the  Bishops  and  Archbishops  themselves  to  play  with  the  in- 

bleue:  il  s'en  trouve  cepenclant  qui  sont  teints  de  verd  &  de  blanc Plusieui's  sur  lesquels  on 

trouve  ces  paroles,  Christos  was  chrest.  Christ  est  resuscite".  Les  personnes  de  distinction  en  ont 
chez  eux  qu'ils  distribuent  a  ceux  qui  leur  rcndent  visite,  &  les  baisent  a  la  bouche  en  leur  diaant 
les  memes  paroles,  Christo  was  chrest;  a  quoi  celui  qui  le  re^oit  r^pond,  Woistino  was  chrest,  il 
est  veritablement  ressuscite".  Les  gens  d'un  rang  mediocre  se  les  donnent  dans  la  rue  .  .  .  Les 
Domestiques  en  portent  aussia  leurs  Matties,  dont  ils  re^oivent  un  present  qu'  ils  nomment  Prcesnik 
.  .  .  Autrefois,  ajoute  ce  Voyageur,  on  se  faisoit  une  affaire  tres  serieuse  de  ces  pr&ens ;  mais  cela 
est  bien  change  depuis  quelque  terns,  come  toute  le  reste." 

"On  Easter  Day  they  greet  one  another  with  a  kiss,  both  men  and  women,  and  give  a  red  Egg, 
saying  these  words,  Christos  vos  christe.  In  the  Easter  Week  all  his  Majesty's  servants  and  nobi- 
lity kiss  the  patriarch's  hand,  and  receive  either  guilded  or  red  eggs,  the  highest  sort  three,  the 
middle  two,  and  the  most  inferior  one."  Present  State  of  Russia,  12mo.  1671.  p.  18. 

Mr.  Douce's  Manuscript  Notes  say :  "  Dans  tous  les  lieux  ou  nous  passames,  les  Femmes  nous 
offrirent  des  (Eufs  rouges.  C'est  dans  toute  la  Russie  une  ancienne  coutume  extremement  reveree 
par  ces  peuples  en  ce  temps  la  (Paques)  des  (Eufs  rouges.  Tout  le  monde  generalement,  les  per- 
sonnes de  qualit^,  et  le  commun  peuple,  les  jeunes  gens,  et  les  viellards,  font  gloire  d'en  porter, 
non  seulement  le  jour  de  Paques  mais  pendant  quinze  jours  apres.  Dans  toutes  les  rue's  on  trouve 
une  infinite  d'  homines  et  des  femmes  qui  vendent  de  ces  (Eufs  cuits  et  teints  en  rouge.  Celui  qui 
distribue,  ou  offre  de  ces  CEufs  a  un  autre,  est  oblige"  de  lui  donner,  en  mfime  temps  un  baiser,  et 
personne,  de  quelque  sexe  et  qualite  qu'il  soit,  n'ose  refuser  ni  l'(Euf  ni  le  baiser  qu'on  lui  pre- 
sente."  Brand,  Relation  du  Voyage  de  M.  Evert  Isbrand,  p.  15. 

In  the  Museum  Tradescantianum,  8vo.  Lond.  1660.  p.  1.  we  find,  "  Easter  Egges  of  the  Patri- 
archs of  Jerusalem." 

a  By  the  law  concerning  Holidays,  made  in  the  time  of  king  Alfred  the  Great,  it  was  appointed 
that  the  week  after  Easter  should  be  kept  holy.  Collier's  Ecclesiast.  Hist.  vol.  I.  p.  163.  [See 
also  Lambard's  Archaionomia,  fol.  Cantabr.  1644,  p.  33.] 

Fitzstephen,  as  cited  by  Stow,  tells  vis  of  an  Easter  Holiday  amusement  used  in  his  time  at 
London  :  "  They  fight  battels  on  the  water.  A  shield  is  hanged  upon  a  pole  (this  is  a  species  of 
the  quintain)  fixed  in  the  midst  of  the  stream.  A  boat  is  prepared  without  oars,  to  be  carried  by 
violence  of  the  water,  and  in  the  forepart  thereof  standeth  a  young  man  ready  to  give  charge 
upon  the  shield  with  his  lance.  If  so  be  he  break  his  lance  against  the  shield  and  do  not  fall,  he 
is  thought  to  have  performed  a  worthy  deed.  If  so  be  that  without  breaking  his  launce  he  runneth 


EASTER    HOLIDAYS.  151 

I  . 

ferior  clergy  at  hand-ball,  and  this,  as  Durand  asserts,  even  on  Easter-day b 
itself.  Why  they  should  play  at  hand-ball  at  this  time,  rather  than  any  other 
game,  Bourne  tells  us  he  has  not  been  able  to  discover;  certain  it  is,  however, 
that  the  present  custom  of  playing  at  that  game  on  Easter  Holidays  for  a  tanzy- 
cake  has  been  derived  from  thence.  Erasmus,  speaking  of  the  proverb,  "  Mea 
est  pila,"  that  is,  "  I  Ve  got  the  ball,"  tells  us,  that  it  signifies  "  I  have  obtained 
the  victory.  I  am  master  of  my  wishes."  The  Romanists  certainly  erected  a 
standard  on  Easier-day,  in  token  of  our  Lord's  Victory;  but  it  would  perhaps 
be  indulging  fancy  too  far  to  suppose  that  the  Bishops  and  governors  of 
churches,  who  used  to  play  at  hand-ball0  at  this  season,  did  it  in  a  mystical  way, 
and  with  reference  to  the  triumphal  joy  of  the  season.  Certain  it  is,  however, 

strongly  against  the  shield,  down  he  falleth  into  the  water,  for  the  boat  is  violently  forced  with 
the  tide;  but  on  each  side  of  the  shield  ride  two  boats  furnished  with  young  men,  which  recover 
him  that  falleth  as  soon  as  they  may.  Upon  the  bridge,  wharfs,  and  houses,  by  the  river  side,  stand 
great  numbers  to  see  and  laugh  thereat."  P.  76.  Henry,  in  his  History  of  Britain,  vol.  III.  p.  594, 
thus  describes  another  kind  of  quintain.  "  A  strong  post  was  fixed  in  the  ground,  with  a  piece 
of  wood,  which  turned  upon  a  spindle,  on  the  top  of  it.  At  one  end  of  this  piece  of  wood  a  bag 
of  sand  was  suspended,  and  at  the  other  end  a  board  was  nailed.  Against  this  board  they  tilted 
with  spears,  which  made  the  piece  of  wood  turn  quickly  on  the  spindle,  and  the  bag  of  sand  strike 
the  rulers  on  the  back  with  great  force,  if  they  did  not  make  their  escape  by  the  swiftness  of  their 
horses." 

They  have  an  antient  custom  at  Coleshill,  in  the  county  of  Warwick,  that  if  the  young  men  of 
the  town  can  catch  a  hare,  and  bring  it  to  the  parson  of  the  parish  before  ten  o'clock  on  Easter 
Monday,  the  parson  is  bound  to  give  them  a  calf's  head  and  a  hundred  of  eggs  for  their  breakfast, 
and  a  groat  in  money.  Beckwith's  edit,  of  Blount's  Jocular  Tenures,  p.  286.  A  writer  in  the 
Gent.  Mag.  vol  LH 1.  for  July  1783,  p.  578,  mentions  a  beverage  called  "  Braggot  (which  is  a  mix- 
ture of  ale,  sugar,  and  spices)  in  use  at  the  Festival  of  Easter." 

b  Sunt  enim  nonnullae  ecclesiie  in  quibus  usitatum  est  ut  vel  etiam  episcopi  et  archiepiscopi  in 
cxnobiis  cum  suis  ludant  subditis,  ita  ut  etiam  ad  lusum  pila-  dimittant,  &c.  Belith.  c.  120.  In 
quibusdam  locis  hac  die.  Vid.  Pasch.  &c.  Durand.  lib.  VI.  cap.  86.  See  also  Du  Frcsiie  in  voce 

P^LOTA. 

c  It  was  an  antient  custom  for  the  mayor,  aldermen,  and  sheriff  of  Newcastle  upon  Tync,  ac- 
companied with  great  numbers  of  the  burgesses,  to  go  every  year,  at  the  Feasts  of  Easter  and 
'Whitsuntide,  to  a  place  without  the  walls  called  the  Forth,  a  little  Mall,  where  eveiy  body  walks, 
as  they  do  in  St.  James's  Park,  with  the  mace,  sword,  and  cap  of  maintenance  carried  before  them. 
The  young  people  of  the  town  still  assemble  there  on  these  holidays,  at  Easter  particularly,  play  at 
hand-ball,  dance,  &c.  but  are  no  longer  countenanced  in  their  innocent  festivity  by  the  presence  of 
their  governors,  who,  no  doubt,  in  antient  times,  as  the  Bishops  did  with  the  inferior  clergy,  used 
to  unbend  the  brow  of  authority,  and  partake  with  their  happy  and  contented  people  the  seemingly 
puerile  pleasures  of  the  festal  season. 


EASTER    HOLIDAYS. 

that  many  of  their  customs  and  superstitions  are  founded  on  still  more  trivial 
circumstances,  even  according  to  their  own  explanations  of  them,  than  this 
imaginary  analogy. 

Tansay,  says  Scldcn,  in  hii  Table  Talk,  v;as  taken  from  the  bitter  herbs  in 
ase  among  the  Jews  at  this  season.  Our  meats  and  sports,  says  he,  have  much 
of  them  relation  to  church  works.  The  -coffin  of  our  Christmass  Pics,  in  shape 
long,  is  in  imitation  of  the  cratch  d,  i.  (?.  rack  or  manger,  wherein  Christ  was 
laid.  Our  tansies6  at  Easter  have  reference  to  the  bitter  herbs;  though  at  the 

d  Among  the  MSS.  in  Genc't  College,  'Cambridge,  is  a  Translation  of  part  of  the  New  Testa- 
ment in  the  English  spoken  soon  after  the  Conquest.  The  7th  verse  of  the  2d  chapter  of  St.  Luke 
is  thus  rendered  i  "And  layde  hym  in  a  cratche,  for  to  hym  was  no  place  in  the  dyversory."  I  will 
venture  to  subjoin  another  specimen,  which  strongly  marks  the  mutability  of  language.  Mark 
vi.  22.  "  When  the  doughtyr  of  Herodias  was  in  cotnyn,  and  had  tombylde  and  pleside  to  Ha- 
rowde,  and  also  to  the  sittande  at  meate,  the  kyng  says  to  the  wench—" 

.If  the  original  Gm-k  had  not  been  preserved,  one  might  have  supposed  from  this  English  that, 
instead  of  excelling  in  the  graceful  accomplishment  of  dancing,  the  young  lady  had  performed 
in  some. exhibition  like  the  present  entertainments  at  Sadler's  Wells.  See  Lewis's  Hist,  of  the 
Engl.  Translations  of  the  Bible,  p.  16. 

e  In  that  curious  book,  intitled,  "  Adam  in  Eden,  or  Nature's  Paradise,"  &c.  fol.  Lond.  1657> 
fay  Wrilliam  Coles,  Herbalist,  our  author,  speaking  of  the  medicinal  virtues  of  tanscy,  ch.  ccxlix.  says : 
"  Therefore  it  is  that  Tanseys  were  so  frequent  not  long  since  about  Easter,  being  so  called  from  this 
lierb  tansey '.  though  I  think  the  stttmach  of  those  that  eat  them  late  are  so  squeamish)  that  they 
put  little  or  none  of  It  into  them,  having  altogether  forgotten  the  reason  of  their  original!,  which 
was  to  purge  away  from  the  stomach  ahd  guts  the  phlegme  engendered  by  eating  of  fish  in  the 
Lent  season  (when  Lent  was  kept  stricter  then  now  it  i*)-,  whereof  worms  are  soon  bred  in  them 
that  are  thereunto  disposed,  besides  otl»er  humours  which  the  moist  and  cold  constitution  of  Winter 
most  usually  infects  the  body  of  man  with ;  and  this  I  say  is  the  reason  why  Tanseys  were  and 
fchould  be  now  more  used  in  the  Spring  than  at  any  other  time  of  the  year,  though  many  under- 
stand it  not,  and  some  simple  people  take  it  (at  a  matter  of  superstition  so  to  do." 

Johnson,  in  his  edition  of  Gerard's  Herball,"  foL  Lond.  1633.  p.  651.  speaking  of  Tansie  says: 
"  In  the  spring  time  are  made  with  the  leaves  hereof  newly  sprung  up,  and  with  egs,  Cakes,  or 
^Tansies,  which  be  pleasant  in  tastt?,  and  good  for  the  etotnacke ;  for>  if  any  bad  humours  cleave 
thereunto,  it  doth  perfectly  concoct  them  and  scowre  them  downwards." 

Tansy  -cakes  are  thus  alluded  10  in  Shipman's  Poems>  p.  If-.     He  is  describing  the  frost  in  1654. 
"  Wherever  any  grassy  turf  is  vie\v'd> 
It  seems  a  Tansie  all  with  sugar  strew'd-." 

It  is  related  in  J.  Boeinus  Aubanus's  Description  of  antient  Rites  ir»  his  Country,  that  there  were 
ttt  this  season  foot-courses  in  the  meadows,  in  which  the  victors  carried  off -each  a  cake,  given  to  be 
run  fat-,  as  we  say,  by  gome  better  sort  of  person  m  the  neighbourhood.  Sometimes  two  cakes 
were  proposed,  one  for  the  young  men,  another  for  the  girls ;  and  there  was  a  great  concourse  of 


EASTER    HOLIDAYS.  153 

same  time  'twas  always  the  fashion  for  a  man  to  have  a  gammon  of  bacon,  to 
shew  himself  to  be  no  Jew." 

people  on  the  occasion  *.     This  is  a  custom  by  no  means  unlike  the  playing  at  hand-ball  for  a 
Tanzy-cake,  the  winning  of  which  depends  chiefly  upon  swiftness  of  foot.  It  is  a  trial  too  of  fleet- 
ness  and  speed,  as  well  as  the  foot-race.    The  following  beautiful  description  in  the  Mons  Catha- 
riniB  may  almost  equally  be  applied  to  hand-ball : 
"  His  datur  orbiculum 

Pracipiti — levem  per  gramina  mittere  lapsu: 
Ast  aliis,  quorum  pedibus  fiducia  major 
Sectari,  et  jam  jam  salienti  insistere  prsedae ; 
Aut  volitantem  alte  longeque  per  aera  pulsum 
Suppiciunt,  pronosque  inhiant,  captantque  volatus, 
Sortiti  fortunam  ocuiis ;  manibusque  paratis 
Expectant  propiorem,  intercipiuntque  caducum."     p.  6. 

The  two  last  lines  compose  a  very  fine  periphrasis  for  the  Northern  word  kepping,  which  is  de- 
rived from  the  Anglo-Saxon  cepan,  capture,  advertere,  curare. 

In  Lewis's  English  Presbyterian  Eloquence,  p.  17,  speaking  of  the  tenets  of  the  Puritans,  he 
observes  that  "  all  games  where  there  is  any  hazard  of  loss,  are  strictly  forbidden  ;  not  so  much  as 
a  game  at  .stool  ball  for  a  Tansy,  or  a  cross  and  pyle  for  the  odd  penny  at  a  reckoning,  upon  pain 
of  damnation." 

The  following  is  in  a  curious  Collection,  intitled,  "  A  pleasant  Grove  of  new  Fancies,  Svo.  Lond. 
1657,  p.  74. 

"  STOOL  BALL. 
At  stool-ball,  Lucia,  let  us  play 

For  sugar,  cakes,  and  wine ; 
Or  for  a  Tansey  let  us  pay, 

The  loss  be  thine  or  mine. 
If  thou,  my  dear,  a  winner  be 

At  trundling  of  the  ball, 
The  wager  thou  shalt  have,  and  me, 

And  my  misfortunes  all." 

Poor  Robin, -in  his  Almanack  for  1677,  in  his  Observations  on  April,  opposite  the  16th  and  17th, 
Easter  Monday  and  Tuesday,  says, 

"  Young  men  and  maids, 

Now  very  brisk, 
At  Barley-break  and 

Stool-ball  frisk." 
If  I  mistake  not,  Galen  wrote  a  book  on  the  exercise  of  the  little  ball. 

*  "  In  paschate  vulgo  placentae  pinsuntur,  quorum  una,  interdum  dux,  adolescent ibus  una,  ;  ucllis  altera,  a 
iliticri  aliquo  proponuntur;  pro  quibus  in  prato,  ubi  ante  noctem  in  gens  hominum  concursus  fit,  quique  agiles 
pedestres  currant."  p.  268. 

VOL.    I.  X 


154  LIFTING    ON    EASTER    HOLIDAYS. 

Durand  tells  us,  that  on  Easter  Tuesday f  wives  used  to  beat  their  husbands, 
on  the  day  following  the  husbands  their  wives.  The  custom  which  has  been 
already  mentioned  in  a  preceding  page,  on  Easter  Sunday,  is  still  retained  at  the 
city  of  Durham  in  the  Easter  Holidays.  On  one  day  the  men  take  off  the 
women's  shoes,  or  rather  buckles,  which  are  only  to  be  redeemed  by  a  present : 
on  another  day  the  women  make  reprisals,  taking  off  the  men's  in  like  manners. 


LIFTING 
ON  EASTER  HOLIDAYS. 

SAMUEL  LYSONS,  esq.  Keeper  of  his  Majesty's  Records  in  the  Tower  of 
London,  communicated  to  the  Society  of  Antiquaries,  March  28,  1805,  the  fol- 
lowing extract  from  a  record  in  his  custody,  entitled,  "  Liber  Contrarotulatoris 
Hospicii,  anno  18  Edw.  I."  fol.  45  b. 

"  Domine  de  camera  Regine.  XV.  die  Maii,  vu  dominabus  et  domicellis  re- 
gine,  quia  ceperunt  dominum  regem  in  lecto  suo,  in  crastino  Pasrhe.  et  ipsum  fe- 
cerunt  finire  versus  eas  pro  pace  regis,  quam  fecit  de  dono  suo  per  mantis  Hu- 
gonis  de  Cerru,  Scutiferi  domine  de  Weston.  xiiij  li." 

The  taking  Edward  Longshanks  in  his  bed  by  the  above  party  of  ladies  of  the 
bedchamber  and  maids  of  honour,  on  Easter  Monday,  was  very  probably  for  the 
purpose  of  heaving  or  lifting  the  king,  on  the  authority  of  a  custom  which  then 
doubtless  prevailed  among  all  ranks  throughout  the  kingdom,  and  which  is  yet 

f  "  In  plerisque  etiani  regionibus  mulieres  secunda  die  post  Pascha  verbt-rant  maritos  suos  :  die 
vero  tertia  uxores  suas."  Durand,  lib.  VI.  c.  86,  9. 

S  "  In  the  Easter  Holidays,"  says  the  account  in  the  Antiquarian  Repertory,  No.  26,  from  MS 
Collections  of  Mr.  Aubrey,  in  the  Ashmolean  Museum  at  Oxford,  date  1678,  "  was  the  clerk's  ale,  for 
his  private  benefit  and  the  solace  of  the  neighbourhood."  Mr.Denne,  in  his  "  Account  of  stone  figures 
carved  on  the  porch  of  Chalk  Church,"  (Archaeol.  vol.  xii.  p.  11,)  says :  "  the  Clerks'  ale  was  the  me- 
thod taken  by  the  Clerks  of  parishes  to  collect  more  readily  their  dues."  Mr.  Denne  is  of  opinion 
that  "  Give-Ales"  were  the  legacies  of  individuals,  and  from  that  circumstance  entirely  gratuitous. 
The  rolling  of  young  couples  down  Greenwich-hill,  at  Easter  and  Whitsontide,  appears,  by 
the  following  extract  from  R.  Fletcher's  Translations  and  Poems,  Svo.  Lond.  1656.  p.  210.  in  a 
poem  called  "  May  Day,"  to  be  the  vestiges  of  a  May  game  : 

"  The  Game  at  best,  the  girls  May  rould  must  bee, 
Where  Croyden  and  Mopsa,  he  and  shee, 
Each  happy  pair  make  one  Hermophrodite, 
And  tumbling,  bounce  together,  black  and  white." 


LIFTING    ON    EASTER    HOLIDAYS.  155 

not  entirely  laid  aside  in  some  of  our  distant  provinces ;  a  custom,  by  which, 
however  strange  it  may  appear,  they  intended  no  less  than  to  represent  our 
Saviour's  Resurrection.  At  Warrington,  Bolton,  and  Manchester,  on  Easter 
Monday,  the  women,  forming  parties  of  six  or  eight  each,  still  continue  to  sur- 
round such  of  the  opposite  sex  as  they  meet,  and,  either  with  or  without  their 
consent,  lift  them  thrice  above  their  heads  into  the  air,  with  loud  shouts  at  each 
elevation.  On.  Easter  Tuesday,  the  men,  in  parties  as  aforesaid,  do  the  same 
to  the  women.  By  both  parties  it  is  converted  into  a  pretence  for  fining  or 
extorting  a  small  sum,  which  they  always  insist  on  having  paid  them  by  the 
persons  whom  they  have  thus  elevated  *. 

a  In  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  for  February  1784,  p.  96,  a  gentleman  from  Manchester  says, 
that  "  Lifting  was  originally  designed  to  represent  our  Saviour's  Resurrection.  The  men  lift  the 
women  on  Easter  Monday,  and  the  women  the  men  on  Tuesday.  One  or  more  take  hold  of  each 
leg,  and  one  or  more  of  each  arm,  near  the  body,  and  lift  the  person  up,  in  a  horizontal  position, 
three  times.  It  is  a  rude,  indecent,  and  dangerous  diversion,  practised  chiefly  by  the  lower  class 
of  people.  Our  magistrates  constantly  prohibit  it  by  the  bellman,  but  it  subsists  at  the  end  of 
the  town  ;  and  the  women  have  of  late  years  converted  it  into  a  money  job.  1  believe  it  is  chiefly 
confined  to  these  Northern  counties."  See  an  account  of  this  ceremony,  not  very  different,  in  the 
Monthly  Magazine  for  April  70S,  p.  273. 

The  following  extract  is  from  the  Public  Advertiser  for  Friday,  April  13th,  1787: 

"  The  custom  of  rolling  down  Greenwich-hill  at  Easter,  is  a  relique  of  old  City  manners,  but 
peculiar  to  the  metropolis.  Old  as  the  custom  has  been,  the  counties  of  Shropshire,  Cheshire, 
and  Lancashire,  boast  one  of  equal  antiquity,  which  they  call  Heaving,  and  perform  with  the  fol- 
lowing ceremonies,  on  the  Monday  and  Tuesday  in  the  Easter  week.  On  the  first  day,  a  party  of 
men  go  with  a  chair  into  every  house  to  which  they  can  get  admission,  force  every  female  to  be 
seated  in  their  vehicle,  and  lift  them  up  three  times,  with  loud  huzzas.  For  this  they  claim  the 
reward  of  a  chaste  salute,  which  those  who  are  too  coy  to  submit  to  may  get  exempted  from  by  a 
fine  of  one  shilling,  and  receive  a  written  testimony,  which  secures  them  from  a  repetition  of  the 
ceremony  for  that  day.  On  the  Tuesday  the  women  claim  the  same  privilege,  and  pursue  their 
business  in  the  same  manner,  with  this  addition — that  they  guard  every  avenue  to  the  town,  and 
stop  every  passenger,  pedestrian,  equestrian,  or  vehicular." 

[That  it  is  not  entirely  confined,  however,  to  the  Northern  counties,  may  be  gathered  from  the 
following  letter,  which  Mr.  Brand  received  from  a  correspondent  of  great  respectability  in  1799 : 
"  Dear  Sir, 

"  Having  been  a  witness  lately  to  the  exercise  of  what  appeared  to  me  a  very  curious  custom  at 
Shrewsbury,  I  take  the  liberty  of  mentioning  it  to  you,  in  the  hope  that  amongst  your  researches 
you  may  be  able  to  give  some  account  of  the  ground  or  origin  of  it.  I  was  sitting  alone  last 
Easter  Tuesday  at  breakfast  at  the  Talbot  in  Shrewsbury,  when  I  was  surprized  by  the  entrance  of 
all  the  female  servants  of  the  house  handing  in  .an  arm  chair,  lined  with  white,  and  decorated  with 
ribbons  and  favours  of  different  colours.  I  asked  them  what  they  wanted  :  their  answer  wa?,  they 


156 


II    J* 


HOKE  DAY. 

BY  some  this  is  thought  to  have  been  the  remains  of  an  heathen  custom, 
which  might  have  been  introduced  into  this  Island  by  the  Romans*. 

Hoke  Day,  according  to  the  most  commonly  received  account,  was  an  annual 
Festival,  said  to  have  been  instituted  in  memory  of  the  almost  total  destruction 

came  to  heave  me.  It  was  the  custom  of  the  place  on  that  morning;  and  they  hoped  I  would  take 
a  seat  in  their  chair.  It  was  impossible  not  to  comply  with  a  request  very  modestly  made,  and  to 
a  set  of  nymphs  in  their  best  apparel,  and  several  of  them  under  twenty.  I  wished  to  see  all  the 
ceremony,  and  seated  myself  accordingly.  The  groupe  then  lifted  me  from  the  ground,  turned 
the  chair  about,  and  I  had  the  felicity  of  a  salute  from  each.  I  told  them,  I  supposed  there  was  a 
fee  due  upon  the  occasion,  and  was  answered  in  the  affirmative ;  and,  having  satisfied  the  damsels 
in  this  respect,  they  withdrew  to  heave  others.  At  this  time  I  had  never  heard  of  such  a  custom ; 
but,  on  enquiry,  I  found  that  on  Easter  Monday,  between  nine  and  twelve,  the  men  heave  the 
women  in  the  same  manner  as  on  the  Tuesday,  between  the  same  hours,  the  women  heave  the 
men.  I  will  not  offer  any  conjecture  on  the  ground  of  the  custom,  because  I  have  nothing  like 
data  to  go  upon ;  but  if  you  should  happen  to  have  heard  any  thing  satisfactory  respecting  it,  1 
should  be  highly  gratified  by  your  mentioning  it.  1  have  the  honour  to  be,  with  much  respect,  Sir, 
Basinghall  Street,  Your  obedient  and  faithful  servant, 

May  7,  1799.  Tho.  Loggan."] 

Another  writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine,  vol.  LIII.  for  July  1733,  p.  578,  having  enquired 
whether  the  custom  of  Lifting  is  "  a  memorial  of  Christ  being  raised  up  from  the  grave,"  adds  : 
"  There  is  at  least  some  appearance  of  it ;  as  there  seems  to  be  a  trace  of  the  descent  of  the  Holy 
Ghost  on  the  heads  of  the  Apostles  in  what  passes  at  Whitsuntide  Fair,  in  some  parts  of  Lancashire, 
where  one  person  holds  a  stick  over  the  head  of  another,  whilst  a  third,  unperceived,  strikes  the 
stick,  and  thus  gives  a  smart  blow  to  the  first.  But  this,  probably,  is  only  local." 

In  a  "  General  History  of  Liverpool,"  reviewed  in  the  Gent.  Mag.  for  179S,  p.  325,  it  is  said, 
"  the  only  antient  annual  commemoration  now  observed  is  that  of  lifting ;  the  women  by  the  men 
on  Easter  Monday,  and  the  men  by  the  women  on  Easter  Tuesday." 

Mr.  Pennant's  MS,  says,  that,  "  In  North  Wales,  the  custom  of  Heaving,  upon  Monday  and 
Tuesday  in  Easter  week,  is  preserved ;  and  on  Monday  the  young  men  go  about  the  town  and 
country,  from  house  to  house,  with  a  fiddle  playing  before  them,  to  heave  the  women.  On  the 
Tuesday  the  women  heave  the  men." 

a  Archajologia,  vol.  vii.  p.  244.  The  Romans  had  their  Feast  of  Fugalia  for  chasing  out  of 
the  Kings. 


HOKE    DAT.  137 

of  the  Danes  in  England  by  Ethelred,  A.  D.  1002.  The  learned  Mr.  Bryant 
has  shewn  this  to  be  destitute  of  any  plausible  support.  The  measure  is  proved 
to  have  been  as  unwise  as  it  was  inhuman,  for  Sweyn,  the  next  year,  made  a 
second  expedition  into  England,  and  laid  waste  its  Western  Provinces  with  fire 
and  sword.  The  conquest  of  it  soon  followed,  productive  of  such  misery  and 
oppression,  as  this  Country  had,  perhaps,  never  before  experienced.  A  Holi- 
day could,  therefore,  never  have  been  instituted  to  commemorate  an  everxt, 
which  afforded  matter  rather  for  humiliation  than  of  such  mirth  and  festivity6. 

b  The  strongest  testimony  against  this  hypothesis  is  that  of  Henry,  Archdeacon  of  Huntingdon, 
who  expressly  says  that  the  massacre  of  the  Danes  happened  on  the  feast  of  St.  Brice,  which  u 
well  known  to  be  on  the  thirteenth  of  November. 

Mr.  Douce's  MS  Notes  say :  "  See  a  good  deal  of  information  concerning  Hoc-tide  in  Plot'i 
History  of  Oxfordshire,  fol.  Oxf.  1677,  p.  201. 

"  Verstegan,  with  uo  great  probability,  derives  Hock-tide  from  Heughtyde,  which,  says  he,  in 
the  Netherlands  means  a  festival  season  ;  yet  he  gives  it  as  a  mere  conjecture,  p.  262.  The  sub- 
stance of  what  Spelman  says  on  this  subject  i»  as  follows.  Hoc  Day,  Hoke  Day,  Hoc-Tuesday,  a 
Festival  celebrated  annually  by  the  English,  in  remembrance  of  their  having  ignominiously  driven 
out  the  Danes,  in  like  manner  as  the  Romans  had  their  Fugalia,  from  having  expelled  their  kings. 
He  inclines  to  Lambarde's  opinion,  that  it  means  '  deriding  Tuesday,'  as  Hocken,  in  German, 
means  to  attack,  to  seize,  to  bind,  as  the  women  do  the  men  on  this  day,  whence  it  is  called 
'  Binding  Tuesday.'  The  origin  he  deduces  from  the  slaughter  of  the  Danes  by  Ethelred,  which 
is  first  mentioned  in  the  Laws  of  Edward  the  Confessor,  c.  35.  He  says  the  day  itself  is  uncertain, 
and  varies,  at  the  discretion  of  the  common  people,  in  different  places  ;  and  adds,  that  he  is  at  a 
loss  why  the  women  are  permitted  at  this  time  to  have  the  upper  hand. 

"  It  is  historically  mentioned  in  the  following  authorities : 

"  In  the  Laws  of  Edw.  Confessor,  c.  35.  as  above  stated.     But  these  are  to  be  suspected. 

"  Henry  of  Huntingdon,  p.  36O.  mentions  that,  in  the  year  1002,  Ethelred  caused  all  the 
Danes  in  England  to  be  massacred  on  St.  Brice's  Day,  as  he  had  heard  many  old  people  relate  in 
his  infancy.  Spelman  remarks  that  St.  Brice's  Day  being  on  the  13th  of  November,  it  could  not 
be  the  origin  of  the  Hoc-tide.  His  similar  objection  to  the  day  after  the  Purification  must  stand 
for  nothing,  as  he  appears  to  have  mistaken  what  is  said  on  that  subject  in  the  Laws  of  Edw.  Con- 
fessor, but  to  prove  that  it  could  not  have  been  St.  Brice's  Day,  he  cites  an  old  rental,  which  men- 
tions a  period  between  Hoke  Day  and  the  Gule  of  August. 

"  Matthew  Paris  has  the  following  passages  concerning  Hoc-tide.  '  Post  diem  Martis  qua  vulga- 
riter  Hokedaie  appellatur,  factum  est  Parliamentum  Londini,'  p.  963.  '  Die  videlicet  Lunae  quae 
ipsum  diem  praecedit  proximfr  quern  Hokedaie  vulgariter  appellamus,'  p.  834. — '  In  quindena 
Paschae  quae  vulgariter  Hokedaie  appellatur,'  p.  904. — On  these  passages  Watts,  in  his  Glossary, 
observes,  '  adhuc  in  ea  die  solent  mulieres  jocose  vias  Oppidorum  funibus  impedire,  et  transeuntes 
ad  se  attrahere,  ut  ab  eis  munusculum  aliquod  extorqueant,  in  pios  usus  aliquos  erogandum;' 
and  then  refers  to  Spelman. 


158  JIOKE    WAV. 

The  other  generally-received  opinion,  that  this  festivity  was  instituted  on  the 
death  of  Hardicanute,  seems  a  more  plausible  origin,  because  by  his  death  our 

"Simeon  Dunelmensis,  p.  165.  and  Ethelred  Rievallensis,  p.  362.  mention  the  massacre  of  the 
Danes  by  Ethelred,  in  1002,  but  say  nothing  relating  to  Hoctide. 

"Radulphus  de  Diceto,  p.  461.  and  Knighton,  p.  2315.  speak  of  this  massacre  having  taken 
place  on  St.  Brice's  Day,  but  are  also  silent  with  respect  to  Hoctide.  The  Saxon  Chronicle  does 
the  same.  R.  de  Diceto  places  it  in  1OOO.  Florence  of  Worcester,  and  Langtoft,  speak  generally 
of  the  massacre ;  and  Robert  of  Gloucester  speaks  of  it  as  having  happened  on  St.  Brice's  Day. 
These  three  last  writers  do  not  mention  a  word  concerning  Hoctide. 

"  Neither  Alured  Beverlacensis,  Hardyng,  nor  the  anonymous  writer  of  the  Chronicle  usually 
called  Caxton's,  mention  the  massacre. 

"Higden  says  it  happened  on  St.  Brice's  night,  fol.  244.  b.  Fabyan  says  it  happened  on  St. 
Brice's  day,  and  began  at  Welvvyn  in  Hertfordshire,  p.  259.  Grafton  follows  him  in  the  same 
words.  Holingshed  makes  it  to  have  taken  place  on  St.  Brice's  day  in  the  year  1012  ;  and  adds, 
that  the  place  where  it  began  is  uncertain,  some  saying  at  Welwyn,  and  others  at  Howahil,  in 
Staffordshire,  1st  edit.  fol.  '242.  Speed  follows  the  accounts  of  H.  Huntingdon  and  Higden,  and 
refers  to  Matthew  of  Westminster,  who  1  find,  in  p.  391.  gives  more  particulars  of  the  massacre 
than  any  other  historian,  and  makes  it  to  have  happened  in  1012,  but  says  nothing  of  Hoctide  in 
that  place.  Speed,  p.  416.  fixes  it  to  the  year  10O2.  Stowc  very  briefly  mentions  the  fact  as  hav- 
ing happened  on  St.  Brice's  day  10O2. 

"Other  antient  authorities  for  the  mention  of  Hoctide  are,  1.  Matthew  of  Westm.  p.  307.  'Die 
Lunae  ante  le  Hokeday.'  2.  Monast.  Anglic,  i.  p.  104.  '  A  dio  quac  dicitur  Hokedai  usque  ad 
festum  S.  Michaelis.'  3.  An  Instrument  in  Kennett's  Paroch.  Antiq.  dated  1363.  which  speaks  of 
a  period  between  Hoke  Day  and  St.  Martin's  day.  4.  A  Chartulary  at  Caen,  cited  by  Du  Cange, 
p.  1150,  in  which  a  period  between  '  Hocedei  usque  ad  Augustum'  is  mentioned.  5.  An  Inspex- 
imus  in  Madox's  Formularc,  p.  225.  dated  42  Ed.  III.  in  which  mention  is  made  of  'die  MartU 
proximo  post  Quindenam  Paschae  qui  vocatur  Hokeday.' 

"  It  seems  pretty  clear  then  that  Hoc  Tuesday  fell  upon  the  Tuesday  fortnight  after  Easter  day, 
and  that  it  could  not  be  in  memory  of  the  Danish  massacre,  if  that  happened  on  St.  Brice's  day, 
and  which,  in  1002,  would  fall  on  a  Friday. 

"  Matthew  Paris  appears  to  be  the  oldest  authority  for  the  word  'Hokedaie,'  and  he,  as  Plot 
well  observes,  makes  it  fall  both  on  a  Monday,  'quindena  Paschae,'  and  on  a  Tuesday,  'die  Mar- 
tis.'  And  yet  he  does  not  call  the  Monday  by  the  name  of  Hokedaie. 

"  Plot  expressly  mentions  that  in  his  time  they  had  two  Hocdays,  viz.  '  The  Monday  for  the 
women,'  which,  says  he,  '  is  the  more  solemn,  and  the  Tuesday  for  the  men,  which  is  very  incon- 
siderable." 

"Minshew,  v.  Hoc-tide,  makes  it  to  be  St.  Blaze's  day,  when  countrywomen  go  about  and 
make  good  cheer ;  and,  if  they  find  any  of  their  neighbours  spinning,  burn  and  make  a  blaze  of 
the  distaff.  He  is  properly  corrected  by  Plot.  He  is  nearer  the  truth  in  deducing  the  term  from 
the  German  Hoge-zeit,  i.  e.  a  time  of  feasting.  Of  this  latter  opinion  is  Skinner. 


HOKE    DAY.  159 

countrymen  were  for  ever  released  from  the  wanton  insults  and  oppressive  exac- 
tions of  the  Danes. 


"  Junius  derives  the  word  from  the  Icelandic  hogg,  ccedes,  and  dag,  dies;  but  this,  no  doubt, 
must  be  with  a  view  to  connect  it  with  the  slaughter  of  the  Danes,  for  which  event  there  seems 
to  be  no  good  authority. 

"  Blount,  in  his  edition  of  Cowell's  Glossary,  says,  that  Hoc  Tuesday  money  was  a  duty  given 
to  the  landlord,  that  his  tenants  and  bondsmen  might  solemnize  that  day  on  which  the  English 
mastered  the  Danes,  being  the  second  Tuesday  after  Easter  week. 

"InBlount's  Glossographia,  edit.  1681.  it  is  said  that  at  Coventry  they  yearly  acted  a  play 
called  Hoc  Tuesday,  till  Queen  Elizabeth's  time. 

"  Cocker,  in  his  English  Dictionary,  says,  that  Hardicanute's  death  was  so  welcome  to  his  sub- 
jects, that  the  time  was  annually  kept,  for  some  hundreds  of  years  after,  by  men  and  women,  who 
in  merriment  strove,  at  that  time,  to  gain  the  mastery  over  each  other. 

"Coles,  in  his  English  Dictionary,  appears  to  have  followed  Minshew  as  to  Dlaze-tide. 

"Bullokar,  in  his  English  Expositor,  published  by  Browne,  1707-  gives  the  best  account,  in 
the  fewest  words,  but  without  any  thing  new. 

"  Blount,  in  his  own  Law  Dictionary,  v.  Hokeday,  says  he  has  seen  a  lease,  without  date,  re- 
serving so  much  rent  payable  '  ad  duos  anni  terminos,  scil.  ad  le  Hokeday,  et  ad  festum  S.  Mich.' 
He  adds,  that  in  the  accounts  of  Magdalen  College,  in  Oxford,  there  is  yearly  an  allowance  pro 
mulieribus  hocantibus,  in  some  manors  of  theirs  in  Hampshire,  where  the  men  hoc  the  women  on 
Monday,  and  contra  on  Tuesday. 

"  On  reconsidering  Plot's  correction  of  Matthew  Paris,  I  think  he  may  have  mistaken  the  mean- 
ing of '  quindena  Paschse,'  which  certainly  denotes  the  sixteenth  day  after  Easter,  i.  e.  Hoc  Tuesday, 
however  absurd  it  may  appear ;  and  this  construction  is  warranted  by  all  the  almanacks  that  I 
have  consulted,  which  place  the  return  of  the  Sheriffs  Writs  on  that  day,  and  which,  therefore,  in 
a  legal  sense,  would  be  deemed  the  day  itself.  Again,  M.  Paris  uses  the  expression  '  Hoke  day,"  which 
is  applicable  exclusively  to  one  day ;  and,  therefore,  as  to  him  at  least,  Hoc  Monday  is  out  of  the 
question:  and  all  the  old  authorities  here  before  cited,  speak  of  Hoke  day  as  a  definite  period,  or 
single  day.  Yet  it  must  be  confessed  that  the  Instrument  in  Madox's  Formulare  as  clearly  fixes 
the  Hoke  Tuesday  on  the  day  after  the  Quindena  Pascha,  which  must  in  that  case  have  fallen  on 
the  Monday;  and  qucere,  therefore,  after  all,  whether,  from  the  various  modes  of  computing 
this  return  of  Quindena  Paschae,  there  did  not  arrive  a  double  Hoc  Day,  viz.  Monday  and  Tuesday. 

"  It  is  impossible  that  the  celebration  of  Hoctide  could  have  arisen  from  the  massacre  of  the 
Danes,  or  from  the  death  of  Hardiknute,  both  which  events  happened  on  an  anniversary,  or  day 
certain,  whereas  the  Hoke  Day  was  a  moveable  time,  varying  with  Easter. 

"  Higgins,  in  his  Short  View  of  English  History,  says,  that  at  Hoctide  the  people  go  about 
beating  brass  instruments,  and  singing  old  rhimes  in  praise  of  their  cruel  ancestors,  as  is  recorded 
in  an  old  Chronicle. 

"Schiller,  in  his  Teutonic  Glossary,  e.  Hochzit,  cites  Otfrid  as  speaking  of  Easter  j  but  this  i* 


16'0  HOKt    DAY. 

This  festival  was  celebrated,  according  to  antient  writers,  on  the  Quindena 
Paschae,  by  which,  Mr.  Denne  informs  us,  the  second  Sunday  after  Easter  can- 
not be  meant,  but  some  day  in  the  ensuing  week :  and  Matthew  Paris,  and 
other  writers,  have  expressly  named  Tuesday6.  There  are  strong  evidences 

not  the  case,   and  the  word  Hockin  means,  simply,  high;  but  Hockzit  may  mean  a  festival, 
without  reference  to  Easter,  or  any  definite  time. 

"From  what  Ihre  says,  in  his  Glossar.  Suio-Goth.  «.  Hogtid,  torn.  i.  p.  911,  it  should  seem 
that  the  word  means  nothing  more  than  high  time,  or  festival  time.  I  find  that,  in  modern 
German,  Hochzeit  is  marriage,  q.  d.  the  High  Festival. 

"  See  John  Carpenter  Bishop  of  Worcester's  Letter  for  abolishing  Hoctide,  dated  1450,  in  Leland's 
Collectanea,  vol.  V.  p.  298. 

"I  find  that  Easter  is  called  'Hye-tyde'  in  Robert  of  Gloucester,  vol.  i.  p.  156." 

Colonel  Vallancey  communicated  to  me  a  curious  Paper,  in  his  own  hand-writing,  to  the  fol- 
lowing effect : 

"  Hock-tide. 

"  In  Erse  and  Irish  Oach  or  Oac  is  rent,  tribute.  The  time  of  paying  rents  was  twice  in  the 
year,  at  La  Samham,  the  day  of  Saman  (2d  Nov.)  and  La  Oac,  the  day  of  Hock  (April).  See  La 
Saman,  Collectanea,  No.  12. 

"  Hoguera  (Spanish)  el  fuego  que  se  haze  con  hacina  de  lennos  que  levanta  llama ;  y  assi  se  en- 
ciende  siempre  en  lugar  descubierto.  Hazian  hogueras  los  antiguos  para  quemar  los  cuerpos, 
dt  los  difuntos,  y  en  ciertas  fiestas  que  llamavam  bistros;  y  en  tiempo  de  peste  se  han  usado  para 
puriticar  el  aire.  For  regoziio  se  hazen  hogueras  en  la  fiesta  de  san  Juan  Baptista,  y  otros  Santos, 
y  en  las  alegrias  por  nacimientos  tie  principes,  y  por  otras  causas.  El  saltar  por  encima  de  las 
hogueras  se  haze  agora  con  simplicidad  ;  pero  antiguamente  tenia  cierto  genero  de  supersticion ;  y 
tuvo  origen  de  los  Caldeos,  segun  escriven  autores  graves.  Lle\  adme  cavallera,  y  sea  a  la  hoguera. 
Esto  dixo  una  hechizera,  llevandola  a  quemar.  Acostumbran  en  muchas  partes  llevar  a  losque 
han  de  justiciar  por  su  pie  :  y  pienso  que  la  costumbre  de  llevarlos  en  Castilla  cavalleros  es  piay 
llegada  a  razon ;  porque  el  que  va  a  padecer  va  debilitado,  temblando  con  todo  su  cuerpo  :  y  con 
esta  fatiga  puede  ser,  que  no  vaya  tan  atento,  ni  los  religiosos  que  le  van  confortando.  Vltra  desto, 
coino  va  levantado  en  alto,  venle  todos,  para  exemplo,  y  para  comiseracion."  Tesoro  de  la  Lingua 
Castellana  por  Don  Seb.  de  Cobarruvias  Orosco.  fol.  Madr.  1611. 

c  Hardicanute  is  mentioned  to  have  died  on  Tuesday  (Feria  3")  the  6th,  of  the  Ides  of  June, 
according  to  Simeon  Dunelm.  X.  Script,  col.  181.  44.  Diceto  474.  Brompton  934.  24. 

Mr.  Denne  supposes  the  change  of  the  Hock,  or  Hoketyde,  from  June  to  the  second  week  after 
Easter,  (changes  of  this  nature  he  evinces  were  frequent,)  might  be  on  the  following  accounts : 
"when  the  8th  of  June  fell  on  a  Sunday,  the  keeping  of  it  on  that  day  would  not  have  been  al- 
lowed ;  and  as,  when  Easter  was  late,  the  8th  of  June  was  likely  to  be  one  of  the  Ember  days  in 
the  Pentecost  week,  (a  fast  to  be  strictly  observed  by  people  of  all  ranks,)  the  prohibition  would 
adso  have  been  extended  to  that  season." 

Wise,  in  hia  "Further  Observations  upon  the  White  Horse,"  &c.  4to.  Oxford.  1742.  p.  54. 


HOK'E    DAY. 


161 


re-nain''ng  to  shew  that  more  days  were  kept  than  oned. 

Various  etymologies  are  given  of  the  word.  Mr.  Bryant  gives  the  preference 
to  -  •'  Hock,"  high  ;  and  apprehends  that  Hock-day  means  no  more  than  a  high- 
day6.  Against  this,  Mr.  Denne  objects  that,  as  it  was  doubtless  in  an  age  of 
extreme  superstition  when  the  holiday  commenced,  and  acquired  this  appella- 
tion, supposing  it  to  denote  a  high  festival,  should  we  not  expect  to  find  it 


speaking  of  the  Danes,  tells  us,  that  their  inhuman  behaviour  drew  upon  them,  at  length,  the 
general  resentment  of  the  English  in  King  Ethelrcd's  reign:  so  that,  in  one  day  (St.  Brice's  day), 
A.  D.  1001.  Chron.  Sax.  p.  133.)  they  were  entirely  cut  off  in  a  general  massacre.  And,  though 
this  did  not  remain  long  unrevenged,  yet  a  festival  was  appointed  in  memory  of  it,  called  Hoc 
Tuesday,  which  was  kept  up  in  Sir  Hemy  Spelman's  time,  and,  perhaps,  may  be  so  in  some  parts 
of  England.  (D.  Henr.  Spelman.  Glossarium,  in  voce  Hocday.)  I  find  this,  amongst  other  sports, 
exhibited  at  Kcnilworth  Castle  by  the  Earl  of  Leicester,  for  the  entertainment  of  Queen  Elizabeth, 
A.  D.  1 575.  "  And  that  there  might  be  nothing  wanting  that  these  parts  could  afford,  hither 
came  the  Covcntre  men,  and  acted  the  ancient  play,  long  since  used  in  that  city,  called,  HOCKS- 
TUESDAY,  setting  forth  the  destruction  of  the  Danes  in  King  Ethelred's  lime,  with  which  the  Queen 
was  so  pleas'd,  that  she  gave  them  a  brace  of  bucks,  and  five  marks  in  money,  to  bear  the  charges 
of  a  feast."  Sir  Will.  Dugdale's  Antiq.  of  Warwickshire,  fol  Lond.  1656.  p.  166.) 

The  Warwick  Antiquary  derives  its  original  from  the  death  of  the  Danish  King  Haideknute : 
but,  however  that  be,  it  is  plain  he  meant  the  same  festival.  "  Post  eum  fratersuus  Hardeknutus, 
qui  obiit  quadam  die  Martis  post  Pascha.  Isti  Dani  in  Angliam  induxerunt  immoderatum  modum 
bibendi  Hardeknuto  mortuo  libcrata  est  Anglia  extunc  a  servitute  Dancrum.  In  citjiis  signum 
usque  hodie  ilia  die  vulgariter  dicta  HOXTUISDAY  ludunt  in  villis  trahendo  cordas  partialiter,  cum 
aliis  jocis."  Joannis  Rossi  Warwicensis  Historia  Regum  Anglia;.  8vo.  Oxon.  1716,  p.  105/ 

d  The  expression  Hock,  or  Hohetyde,  comprizes  both  days.  Tuesday  was  most  certainly  the 
principal  day,  the  dies  Martis  ligatoria.  Hoke  Monday  was  for  the  men,  and  Hock  Tuesday  for 
the  women.  On  both  days  the  men  and  women,  alternately,  with  great  merriment  intercepted 
the  public  roads  with  ropes,  and  pulled  passengers  to  them,  from  whom  they  exacted  money  to 
be  laid  out  in  pious  uses.  So  that  Hoketyde  season,  if  you  will  allow  the  pleonasm,  began  on 
the  Monday  immediately  following  the  second  Sunday  after  Easter,  in  the  same  manner  as  several 
feasts  of  the  dedications  of  churches,  and  other  holidays,  commenced  on  the  day  or  the  vigil  before, 
and  was  a  sort  of  preparation  for,  or  introduction  to,  the  principal  feast. 

e  Archaeologia,  vol.  vii.  p.  256.  So  also  Dr.  White  Kennett,  in  his  Glossary  to  the  Parochial. 
Antiquities. 

In  "  an  Indenture  (printed  in  Hearne's  Appendix  to  the  History  and  Antiquities  of  Glastonbury, 
p.  328.)  constituting  John  atte  Hyde  steward  of  the  Priory  of  Poghley,"  among  many  other  things 
granted  him,  are  two  oxen  for  the  larder  on  Hoke-day.     "  Item  ii.  Boves  pro  lardario  apud  Hoc- 
coday."     It  is  dated  on  the  Feast  of  the  Annunciation,  in  the  49th  of  Edward  the  Third. 
VOL.  I.  Y 


162  HOKE    DAY. 

applied  to  a  sacred  rather  than  to  a  civil  anniversary,  perhaps  to  commemorate 
the  birth,  or  the  martyrdom,  of  some  greatly  venerated  Saint? 

Lambarde  imagined  it  to  be  a  corruption  of  hucxtybe,  and  to  signify  the  time 
of  scorning  and  mocking ;  of  which  definition  few,  says  Mr.  Denne,  have  ap- 
proved'. 

Sir  Henry  S  pel  man  derives  Hock-day  from  the  German  word  Hocken,  to 
binds. 

Mr.  Denne  conjectures  the  name  of  this  festivity  to  have  been  derived  from 
"Hockzeit,"  the  German  word  for  a  wedding,  and  which,  according  to  Bailey's 
Dictionary,  is  particularly  applied  to  a  wedding-feasth. 

"As  it  was  then,"  says  he,  "at  the  celebration  of  the  feast  at  the  wedding  of 
a  Danish  Lord,  Canute  Prudan,  with  Lady  Githa,  the  daughter  of  Osgod 
Clape,  a  Saxon  nobleman,  that  Hardicanute  died  suddenly",  our  ancestors  had 
certainly  sufficient  grounds  for  distinguishing  the  day  of  so  happy  an  event  by  a 
word  denoting  the  wedding  feast,  the  wedding  day,  the  wedding  Tuesday. 
And,  if  the  justness  of  this  conjecture  shall  be  allowed,  may  not  that  reason  be 
discovered,  which  Spelman  says  he  could  not  learn,  why  the  women  bore  rule 
on  this  celebrity,  for  all  will  admit  that,  at  a  wedding,  the  bride  is  the  queen 
of  the  day?" 

f  Archseol.  ut  supra.  "  If  contumely  and  derision,"  says  Mr.  Denne,  "  had  been  chiefly  aimed 
at,  it  is  more  likely  that  the  feast  would  have  been  called  Lourdaine,  as  that,  he  tells  us,  conti- 
nued in  his  time  to  be  the  bye-word  of  reproach,  instead  of  Lord  Dane;  a  title  of  dignity  with 
which  the  English  complimented  the  Danes  during  their  ascendancy." 

Lambarde's  words  are  :  "The  common  people  have  celebrated  the  annual  day  of  Hardicanute's 
death  ever  after  with  open  pastime  in  the  streates,  calling  it,  even  till  this  our  time,  Hoctuesday, 
insteade  (as  I  thinke)  of  hucxcuej-baej,  that  is  to  say,  the  skorning,  or  mocking  Tuesday.'1  Mr, 
Douce  obseiTes  :  "  In  this  he  partly  follows  Ross  of  Warwick.  The  etymology  is,  I  believe,  his 
own,  and  not  deserving  of  much  attention." 

*  •'  Vulgar!  tamen  nomini  bene  convenit  hodiernus  celebrandi  Ritus ;  nam  cum  Hocken  idem  sit 
Germanice,  quod  obsidere,  cingere,  incubarc:  alii  in  hac  celebritate  alios  obsident,  capiunt,  ligant, 
(praesertim  viros  foeminae)  atquc  inde  binding  Tuesday;  i.  diem  Martis  ligatoriam  appellant." 

h  Archaeol.  vol.  vii.  p.  257. 

1  Simeon  of  Durham  (Decem  Scriptor.  col.  181.)  says:  "  Dum  in  Convivio,  in  quo  Osgodus 
Clapa  magnae  vir  potential  filiam  suam  Githam  Danico  et  praepotenti  viroTovio,  Prudan  cognomento, 
in  loco  qui  dicitur  Lamhithe,  magna  cum  laetitia  tradebat  nuptui  laetus,  sospes,  et  hylaris  cum 
sponsa  prtedicta  et  quibusdam  viris  bibens  staret,  repente  inter  bibendum  miserabili  casu  ad  terram 
eorruit  et  sic  mutus  permanens  vi.  idus  Junii  feria  iij.  expiravit." 


HOKJi    DAY.  165 

Dr.  Plott  says,  that  one  of  the  uses  of  the  money  collected  at  Hoketyde  was, 
the  reparation  of  the  several  parisli  churches  where  it  was  gathered.  This  is 
confirmed  by  extracts  from  the  Lambeth  Bookk.  The  observance  of  Hoketyde 
declined  soon  after  the  Reformation.  Joyful  commemorations  of  a  release  from 
the  bondage  of  Popery  obliterated  the  remembrance  of  the  festive  season  insti- 

k  "1556 — 1557.  Item  of  Godman  Rundell's  wife,  Godman  Jackson's  wife,  and  Godwife  Tegg, 
for  Hoxce  money  by  them  received  to  tlie  use  of  the  Church,  xijs."  (Archaeol.  vol.  vii.  p.  252) 

"  1518 — 1519.  Item  of  William  Klyot  and  John  Chamberlayne,  for  Hoke  money  gydered  in 
the  pareys,  iijs.  ixd." 

"  Item  of  the  gaderyng  'of  the  Churchwardens  wijffes  on  Hoke  Mondaye,  viijs.  iijd."     (Ibid.  251.) 

In  Peshall's  History  of  the  city  of  Oxford,  under  St.  Maiy's  parish,  are  the  following  curious 
extracts  from  old  records  : 

p.  67.  "  1510.  sub  tit.  Recepts.  Reed,  atte  Hoctyde  of  the  wyfes  gaderynge,  xvs.  ijd.  From  1522 
to  3,  sub  tit.  Rec. /or  the  wyfes  gatheryng  at  Hoctyde  de  claro,  xvis.  xd." 

p.  83.  Parish  of  St.  Peter  in  the  East.  "  1662.  About  that  time  it  was  customary  for  a  parish 
that  wanted  to  raise  money  to  do  any  repairs  towards  the  church  to  keep  a  Hocktyde,  the  benefit  of 
which  was  often  very  great :  as,  for  instance,  this  parish  of  St.  Peter  in  the  East  gained  by  the 
Hocktide  and  Whitsuntide,  anno  1664,  the  sum  of  s£l4. 

"  1663.  Hocktide  brought  in  this  year  j£6." 

"  1G67.  j£4.  10s.  gained  by  Hocktide:   the  last  time  it  is  mentioned  here." 

In  the  Churchwardens  Accounts  of  St.  Mary  at  Hill,  in  the  city  of  London,  under  the  year  1496, 
is  the  follow  ing  article:  "  Spent  on  the  wyves  that  gaderyd  money  on  Hob  Monday,  lOd."  Ibid. 
1518.  there  is  an  order  for  several  sums  of  money  gathered  on  Hob  Monday,  &c.  to  go  towards 
the  Organs,  but  crossed  out  with  a  pen  afterwards.  Ibid.  1497.  "  Gatherd  by  the  women  on  Hob 
Monday,  13s.  4d.  By  the  men  on  the  Tuesday,  5s."  In  Mr.  Nichols's  Illustrations  of  Antient 
Manners  and  Expences,  4to.  1797,  are  other  extracts  from  the  same  Accounts,  p.  102.  under 
the  year  1499,  is  the  following  article:  "  For  two  rybbs  of  bief,  and  for  bred  and  ale,  to  the 
\vyvys  yn  the  parish  that  gathered  on  Hok  Monday,  Is.  Id."  Ibid.  p.  105.  A.  D.  1510.  "Received 
of  the  gaderynge  of  Hob  Monday  and  Tewisday,  s£l.  12s.  6d." 

In  Mr.  Lysons's  Environs  of  London,  vol.  i.  p.  229,  among  many  other  curious  extracts  from 
the  Churchwardens  and  Chamberlains  Books  at  Kingston-upon-Tltames,  are  the  following  con- 
cerning Hocktyde : 

"  1  Hen.  VIII.  Recd  for  the  gaderyng  at  Hoc-tyde,  14s. 
2  Hen  VIII.  Paid  for  mete  and  drink  at  Hoc-tyde,  12c/." 

The  last  time  that  the  celebration  of  Hocktyde  appears  is  in  1578: 

"  Recd  of  the  women  upon  Hoc  Monday,  5s.  2d." 

Ibid.  vol.  n.  p.  145.  Parish  of  Chelsea.  "  Of  the  women  that  went  a  hocking,  13  April,  1607,  45s." 

In  Coates's  History  of  Reading,  p.  214,  in  the  Churchwardens  Accounts  of  St.  Laurence's 
parish,  under  1499,  14  Hen.  VII.  are  the  following  entries :  "  It.  rec.  of  Hok  money  gaderyd  of 
women,  xxs.  "  It.  rec.  of  Hok  money  gaderyd  of  men,  iiijs." 

Ibid.  p.  226,  we  read  the  following  observation,  A.  D.  1573  : 


164  HOKE   DAY. 

tuted  on  account  of  a  deliverance  from  the  Danish  yoke1;  if  we  dare  pronounce 
k  certain  that  it  was  instituted  on  that  occasion m. 

"The  collections  on  Hock  Monday,  and  on  the  Festivals,  having  ceased,  it  was  agreed,  that  every 
woman  seated  by  the  Churchwardens  in  any  seat  on  the  South  side  of  the  church,  above  the  doors, 
or  in  the  middle  range  above  the  doors,  should  pay  4d.  yearly,  and  any  above  the  pulpit  6d.  at 
equal  portions." 

Ibid.  p.  131.    St.  Mary's  parish,  sub  anno  1559: 

"  Hoctyde  money,  the  mens  gatheryng,  iiijs. 
The  womens  ---------  xijs." 

Ibid.  p.  378.  Parish  of  St.  Giles,  Reading,  sub  anno  1526 :  "  Paid  for  the  wyv's  supper  at 
Hoctyde,  xxiiijc/."  Here  a  note  observes :  "The  Patent  of  the  5th  of  Henry  V.  has  a  confirmation 
of  lands  to  the  Prior  of  St.  Frideswide,  and  contains  .a  recital  of  the  Charter  of  Ethelred  in  1O04  ; 
in  which  it  appears  that,  with  the  advice  of  his  lords  and  great  men,  he  issued  a  decree  for  the 
destruction  of  the  Danes.  According  to  Milncr's  History  of  \Vincbcster,  vol.  i.  p.  172,  "  the 
massacre  took  place  on  November  the  5th,  St.  JJrice's  day,  whose  name  is  still  preserved  in  the 
Calendar  of  our  Common  Prayer :  but,  by  an  order  of  Ethelred,  the  sports  were  transferred  to 
the  Monday  in  the  third  week  after  Easter." 

Sub  anno  1535.  "  Hock-money  gatheryd  by  the  wyves,  xiiis.  ixrf." 

It  appears  clearly,  from  these  different  extracts,  that  the  women  made  their  collection  on  the 
Monday :  and  it  is  likewise  shewn  that  the  women  always  collected  more  than  the  men. 

The  custom  of  men  and  women  heaving  each  other  alternately  on  Easter  Monday  and  Easter 
Tuesday,  in  North  Wales,  (mentioned  in  Mr.  Pennant's  MSS. ;  see  p.  156)  must  have  been  de- 
rived from  this  hocking  each  oilier  on  Hok-days,  after  the  keeping  of  the  original  days  had  been 
set  aside. 

There  is  preserved  in  the  fifth  volume  of  Leland's  Collectanea,  Svo,  Lond.  1770,  p.  298,  a  curious 
inhibition  of  John,  Bishop  of  Worcester,  against  the  abuses  of  the  Hoc-days,  dated  6th  April, 
1450:  "  Uno  certo  die,  heu  [/.  HOC]  vocitato,  hoc  solempni  festo  Paschatis  transacto,  mulieres 
homines,  alioque  die  homines  mulieres  ligare,  ac  cetera  media  utinani  non  iuhonesta  vel  deteriora 
facere  moliantur  &  exercere,  lucrum  ecclesiffi  Dngentes,  set  dampnum  anima:  sub  fucato  colore 
lucrantes  :  quorum  occasionc  plura  oriuntur  scandala,  adulteriaque,  &  alia  crimiua  committuntur," 
&c.  In  this  Letter  they  are  expressly  called  "  Hoc-dayes." 

1  The  discovery  and  prevention  of  the  Gunpowder  Plot  occasioned  the  establishment,  by  law,  of 
a  yearly  day  of  thanksgiving,  for  ever,  on  the  5th  of  November. 

m  I  know  no  other  head  to  which  I  can  so  properly  reduce  the  following  extract  from  Mr.  Bag- 
ford's  Letter  relating  to  the  Antiquities  of  London,  printed  in  the  1st  vol.  of  Leland's  Collectanea, 
(Svo.  Lond.  1770,)  and  dated  Feb.  1,  17]  4— 15,  p.  Ixxvi. 

"  This  brings  to  my  mind  another  antient  custom,  that  hath  been  omitted  of  late  years.  It 
seems  that,  in  former  times,  the  Porters  that  ply'd  at  Bilinsgate  used  civilly  to  intreat  and  desire 
every  man  that  passed  that  way  to  salute  a  post  that  stood  there  in  a  vacant  place.  If  he  refused 
to  do  this,  they  forthwith  laid  hold  of  him,  and  by  main  force  bouped  his  *  *  *  *  against  the  post ; 
but,  if  he  quietly  submitted  to  kiss  the  same,  and  paid  down  sixpence,  then  they  gave  him  a  name, 


HOKE    DAY.  165 

There  is,  however,  a  curious  passage  in  Wythers'  "Abuses  stript  and  whipt," 
8vo.  Loud.  1618.  p.  232.  which  seems  to  imply  that  Hock-tide  was  still  generally 
observed : 

"  Who  think  (forsooth)  because  that  once  a  yeare 

They  can  affoord  the  poore  some  slender  cheere, 

Observe  their  country  feasts,  or  common  doles, 

And  entertaine  their  Christmass  Wassaile  Boles, 

Or  els  because  that,  for  the  Churche's  good, 

They  in  defence  of  HOCK  TIDE  customc  stood: 

A  Whitsun-ale,  or  some  such  goodly  motion, 

The  better  to  procure  young  men's  devotion  : 

What  will  they  do,  I  say,  that  think  to  please 

Their  mighty  God  with  such  fond  things  as  these  ? 

Sure,  very  ill." 


ST.  GEORGE'S  DAY. 
{April  the  Twenty-third.) 

IT  appears  that  blue  Coats  were  formerly  worn  by  people  of  fashion  on  St. 
George's  Day.  See  Reed's  Old  Plays,  vol.  XII.  p.  398*. 

Among  the  Fins,  whoever  makes  a  riot  on  St.  George's  Day  is  in  danger  of 
suffering  from  storms  and  tempests.  Tooke's  Russia,  vol.  I.  p.  47- 

and  chose  some  one  of  the  gang  for  his  godfather.  1  believe  this  was  done  in  memoiy  of  some 
old  image  that  formerly  stood  there,  perhaps  of  Belus,  or  Belin."  He  adds:  "Somewhat  of  the 
like  post,  or  rather  stump,  was  near  St.  Paul's,  and  is  at  this  day  call'd  St.  Paul's  Stump." 

It  is  the  duty  of  the  Rector  of  St.  Mary  at  Hill,  in  which  parish  Billingsgate  is  situated,  to  preach 
a  sermon  every  year  on  the  first  Sunday  after  Midsummer  day,  before  the  Society  of  Fellowship 
Porters,  exhorting  them  to  be  charitable  towards  their  old  decayed  brethren,  and  "  to  bear  one 
another's  burthens." 

The  stump  spoken  of  by  Bagford  is  probably  alluded  to  in  "  Good  Newes  and  Bad  Newes,"  by 
S.  R.  4to,  Lond.  1622,  signat.  F.  3  b.  where  the  author,  speaking  of  a  countryman  who  had  been 
to  see  the  sights  of  London,  mentions 

"  The  Water- workes^  huge  Pauls,  old  Charing  Crosse, 
Strong  London  Bridge,  at  Billingsgate  the  Basse!" 

a  In  Coates's  History  of  Reading,  p.  221,  under  Churchwardens  Accounts  in  the  year  1536,  arc 
the  following  entries : 


166 


ST.  MARK'S  DAY, 
(April  the  Twenty-jifth,) 

or 
EVE. 

IT  is  customary  in  Yorkshire,  as  a  clergyman  of  that  county  informed  me, 
for  the  common  people  to  sit  and  watch  in  the  church  porch  on  St.  Mark's  Eve, 
from  eleven  o'clock  at  night  till  one  in  the  morning.  The  third  year  (for  this 
must  be  done  thrice),  they  are  supposed  to  see  the  ghosts  of  all  those  who  are 
to  die  the  next  year,  pass  by  into  the  church.  When  any  one  sickens  that  is 
thought  to  have  been  seen  in  this  manner,  it  is  presently  whispered  about  that 
he  will  not  recover,  for  that  such,  or  such  an  one,  who  has  watched  St.  Mark's 
Eve,  says  so. 

This  superstition  is  in  such  force,  that,  if  the  patients  themselves  hear  of  it, 
they  almost  despair  of  recovery.  Many  are  said  to  have  actually  died  by  their 
imaginary  fears  on  the  occasion ;  a  truly  lamentable,  but  by  no  means  incredible, 
instance  of  human  folly. 

Mr.  Pennant's  MS.  says,  that  in  North  Wales  no  farmer  dare  hold  his  team 
on  St.  Mark's  Day,  because,  as  they  believe,  one  man's  team  was  marked  that 
did  work  that  day  with  the  loss  of  an  ox.  The  Church  of  Rome  observes  St. 


"  Charg'  of  Saynt  George. 

"  Ffirst  payd  for  iii  caffes-skynes,  and  ii  horse-skynnes,  iiii'.  vij. 
Payd  for  makeying  the  loft  that  Saynt  George  standeth  upon,  vid. 
Payd  for  ii  plonks  for  the  same  loft,  viijd. 
Payd  for  iiij  pesses  of  clowt  lether,  ijs.  ijd. 
Payd  for  makeyng  the  yron  that  the  hors  resteth  upon,  vjd. 
Payd  for  makeyng  of  Saynt  George's  cote,  viiid. 
Payd  to  John  Paynter  for  his  labour,  xlvs. 
Payd  for  roses,  bells,  gyrdle,  sword,  and  dager,  iy*.  iiijd. 
Payd  for  settyng  on  the  bells  and  roses,  iij*. 
Payd  for  naylls  necessarye  thereto,  xd.  ob." 


PAROCHIAL    PERAMBULATIONS.  167 

Mark's  Day  as  a  day  of  abstinence,  in  imitation  of  St.  Mark's  disciples,  the  first 
Christians  of  Alexandria,  who,  under  this  Saint's  conduct,  were  eminent  for  their 
great  prayer,  abstinence,  and  sobriety  *•. 


PAROCHIAL  PERAMBULATIONS 

in  Rogation  Week,  or  on  one  of  the  three  Days  before 

ASCENSION  DAY,  or  HOLY  THURSDAY. 

"  That  ev'ry  man  might  keep  his  owne  possessions, 

Our  fathers  us'd,  in  reverent  Processions, 

(With  zealous  prayers,  and  with  praisefull  cheere,) 

To  walke  their  parish-limits  once  ayeare; 

And  well  knowne  markes  (which  sacrilegious  hands 

Now  cut  or  breake)  so  bord'red  out  their  lands, 

That  ev'ry  one  distinctly  knew  his  owne ; 

And  many  brawles,  now  rife,  were  then  unknowne." 

Withers'  Emblems,  fol.  1635,  p.  161. 

IT  was  a  general  custom  formerly,  says  Bourne,  and  is  still  observed  in  some 
country  parishes,  to  go  round  the  bounds  and  limits  of  the  parish,  on  one  of  the 

a  See  Wheatley  on  the  Common  Prayer,  8vo,  Lond.  1741,  p.  304.  Strype,  in  his  Annals  of  the 
Reformation,  vol.  i.  p.  191,  under  anno  1559,  informs  us  :  "  The  25th  April,  St.  Mark's  Day  (that 
year),  was  a  procession  in  divers  parishes  of  London,  and  the  citizens  went  with  their  banners 
abroad  in  their  respective  parishes,  singing  in  Latin  the  Kyrie  Eleeson,  after  the  old  fashion." 

In  a  most  rare  book,  entitled,  "  The  burnynge  of  Paules  Church  in  London  1561,  and  the 
4  day  of  June,  by  Lyghtnynge,  &c."  8vo,  Lond.  1563,  signat.  I,  2  b.  we  read  :  "  Althoughe  Am- 
brose saye  that  the  churche  knewe  no  fastinge  day  betwix  Easter  and  Whitsonday,  yet  beside 
manye  fastes  in  the  Rogation  weeke,  our  wise  popes  of  late  yeares  have  devysed  a  monstrous  fast 
on  Saint  Marke's  Daye.  All  other  fastinge  daies  are  on  the  holy  day  Even,  only  Saint  Marke  must 
have  his  day  fasted.  Tell  us  a  reason  why,  so  that  will  not  be  laughen  at.  We  knowe  wel  ynoiigh 
your  reason  of  Tho.  Beket,  and  thinke  you  are  ashamed  of  it :  tell  us  where  it  was  decreed,  by 
the  Churche  or  Gcnerall  Counsell.  Tell  us  also,  if  ye  can,  why  the  one  side  of  the  strete  in 


168  PAROCHIAL   PERAMBULATIONS. 

three  days  before  Holy  Thursday,  or  the  Feast  of  our  Lord's  Ascension,  when 
the  minister,  accompanied  by  his  churchwardens  and  parishioners,  were  wont  to 
deprecate  the  vengeance  of  God,  beg  a  blessing  on  the  fruits  of  the  earth,  and 
preserve  the  rights  and  properties  of  the  parish  a. 


Cheapeside  fastes  that  daye,  being  in  London  diocesse,  and  the  other  side,  beinge  of  Canturbury 
diocesse,  fastes  not  ?  and  soe  in  other  townes  moe.  Could  not  Becket's  holynes  reache  over  the 
strete,  or  would  he  not  ?  If  he  coulde  not,  he  is  not  so  mighty  a  Saint  as  ye  make  hym ;  if  he 
would  not,  he  was  maliciouse,  that  woulde  not  doe  soe  muche  for  the  citye  wherein  he  was  borne." 

"  In  the  yeare  of  our  Lord  1 589,  I  being  as  then  but  a  boy,  do  remember  that  an  ale  wife, 
making  no  exception  of  dayes,  would  needes  brue  upon  Saint  Marke's  days ;  but  loe,  the  mar- 
vailous  worke  of  God  !  whiles  she  was  thus  laboring,  the  top  of  the  chimney  tooke  fire ;  and,  be- 
fore it  could  bee  quenched,  her  house  was  quite  burnt.  Surely,  a  gentle  warning  to  them  that 
violate  and  prophane  forbidden  dales."  Vaughan's  Golden  Grove,  Svo,  1C08,  signat  P  7- 

"  On  St.  Mark's  day,  blessings  upon  the  corn  are  implored."     Hall's  Triumphs,  p.  58. 

•l  Antiq.  Vulg.  ch.  xxvi.  "  It  is  the  custom  in  many  villages  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Exeter  to 
'  hail  the  Lamb,'  upon  Ascension  morn.  That  the  figure  of  a  lamb  actually  appears  in  the  East 
upon  this  morning  is  the  popular  persuasion :  and  so  deeply  is  it  rooted,  that  it  hath  frequently 
resisted  (even  in  intelligent  minds)  the  force  of  the  strongest  argument."  See  Gent.  Mag.  for 
1787,  vol.  Ivii.  p.  718. 

The  following  superstition  relating  to  this  day  is  found  in  Scot's  Discovery  of  Witchcraft,  fol. 
Lend.  1665,  p.  152.  "In  some  countries  they  run  out  of  the  doors  in  time  of  tempest,  blessing  them- 
selves with  a  cheese,  where,upon  was  a  cross  made  with  a  rope's  end  upon  Ascension  Day." — "  Item, 
to  hang  an  egg  laid  on  Ascension  Day  in  the  roof  of  the  house,  preserveth  the  same  from  all  hurts." 
The  same  writer  mentions  the  celebrated  Venetian  superstition  on  this  day,  which  is  of  great  antiquity : 
"  Every  year,  ordinarily,  upon  Ascension  Day,  the  Duke  of  Venice,  accompanied  with  the  States, 
goeth  with  great  solemnity  to  the  sea,  and,  after  certain  ceremonies  ended,  casteth  thereinto  a 
gold  ring  of  great  value  and  estimation,  for  a  pacificatory  oblation  ;  wherewith  their  predecessors 
supposed  that  the  wrath  of  the  sea  was  assuaged."  This  custom  "  is  said  to  have  taken  its  rise 
from  a  grant  of  Pope  Alexander  the  Third,  who,  as  a  reward  for  the  zeal  of  the  inhabitants  in  his 
restoration  to  the  papal  chair,  gave  them  power  over  the  Adriatick  Ocean,  as  a  man  has  power  over 
his  wife.  In  memory  of  which,  the  chief  magistrate  annually  throws  a  ring  into  it,  with  these 
words :  '  Desponsamus  te,  Mare,  in  signum  perpetui  dominii ;'  We  espouse  thee,  O  Sea,  in  testimony 
of  our  perpetual  dominion  over  thee."  Gent.  Mag.  vol.  XXXIV.  for  Novemb.  1764,  p.  483.  See 
also  Gent.  Mag.  vol.  V.  for  March  1735,  p.  118.  In  another  volume  of  the  same  Miscellany,  for 
March  1798,  p.  184.  we  have  an  account  of  the  ceremony  rather  more  minute:  "  On  Ascension 
Day,  the  Doge,  in  a  splendid  barge,  attended  by  a  thousand  barks  and  gondolas,  proceeds  to  a 
particular  place  in  the  Adriatic.  In  order  to  compose  the  angry  gulph,  and  procure  a  calm,  the 
patriarch  pours  into  her  bosom  a  quantity  of  holy  water.  As  soon  as  this  charm  has  had  its  effect, 
the  Doge,  with  great  solemnity,-  through  an  aperture  near  his  seat,  drops  into  her  kp  a  gold  ring, 


PAROCHIAL   PERAMBULATIONS,  16*9 

He  cites  Spelmanb  as  deriving  this  custom  from  the  times  of  the  Heathens, 
and  that  it  is  an  imitation  of  the  Feast  called  Terminalia,  which  was  dedicated 
to  the  God  Terminus,  whom  they  considered  as  the  guardian  of  fields  and 
landmarks,  and  the  keeper  up  of  friendship  and  peace  among  men.  The  pri- 
mitive custom  used  by  Christians  on  this  occasion  was,  for  the  people  to  accom- 
pany the  bishop  or  some  of  the  clergy  into  the  fields,  where  Litanies0  were 

repeating  these  words,  '  Desponsamus  te,  Mare,  in  signum  veri  perpetuique  domirdi.-'  We  espouse 
thee,  O  Sea,  in  token  of  real  and  perpetual  dominion  over  thee.  But,  alas  !  how  precarious  are 
all  matrimonial  contracts  in  the  present  licentious  age !  This  cara  sposa,  notwithstanding  her 
repeated  engagements,  has  been  lately  guilty  of  crim.  con.  to  a  flagrant  degree,  and  now  resigns 
herself  to  the  possession  of  debauchees.  It  is  therefore  most  probable  that  this  annual  ceremony 
will  be  no  more  repeated.  This  harlot  will  be  divorced  for  ever." 

b  "  Refert  Plutarcluis  in  Problem.  13.  Numam  Popilium  cum  finithnis  agri  terminis  constituisse 
et  in  ipsis  finibus  Terminum  Deum,  quasi  finium  praesidem,  amicitiaeque  ac  pacis  custodem  po- 
suisse.  Hinc  festa  ei  dicata  quae  Terminalia  nuncupantur,  quorum  vice  noa  quotannis  ex  vc- 
tustissima  consuetudine  parochiarum  terminos  lustramus."  Spelm.  Gloss,  v.  PERAMBUI.ATIO. 

c  In  Mr.  Lysons's  "  Environs  of  London,"  vol.  I.  p.  309,  among  his  curious  extracts  from 
the  Churchwarden's  Accounts  at  Lambeth,  I  find  the  following  relative  to  our  present  subject : 

£.  s.    d. 
"  3516.  Paid  for  dyinge  of  buckram  for  the  Lett'y  clothes     008 

For  paynting  the  Lett'mj  clothes  --------     0     O     S 

For  lynynge  of  the  Lett'ny  clothes  -------     o     0     4 

probably  for  the  processions  in  which  they  chaunted  the  Litany  on  Rogation  Day." 

A  writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  for  August  1790,  p.  719,  under  the  signature  of  Ripo- 
niensis,  tells  us  :  "  Some  time  in  the  Spring,  I  think  the  day  before  Holy  Thursday,  all  I  he  clergy, 
attended  by  the  singing  men  and  boys  of  the  choir,  perambulate  the  town  in  their  canonicals, 
singiug  Hymns;  and  the  blue-coat  Charity  boys  follow,  singing,  with  green  boughs  in  their  hands." 

In  London,  these  parochial  processions  are  still  kept  up  on  Holy  Thursday. 

Shaw,  in  his  History  of  Staffordshire,  vol.  ii.  part  I,  p.  165,  speaking  of  Wolverhampton,  says  : 
"  Among  the  local  customs  which  have  prevailed  here  may  be  noticed  that  which  was  popularly 
called  '  Processioning.'  Many  of  the  older  inhabitants  can  well  remember  when  the  sacrist, 
resident  prebendaries,  and  members  of  the  choir,  assembled  at  Morning  Prayers  on  Monday  and 
Tuesday  in  Rogation  Week,  with  the  charity  children,  bearing  long  poles  clothed  with  all  kinds  of 
flowers  then  in  season,  and  which  were  afterwards  carried  through  the  streets  of  the  town  with 
much  solemnity,  the  clergy,  singing  men  and  boys,  dressed  in  their  sacred  vestments,  closing 
the  procession,  and  chanting  in  a  grave  and  appropriate  melody,  the  Canticle,  Benedicite,  Ouinia 
Opera,  &c. 

"  This  ceremony,  innocent  at  least,  and  not  illaudable  in  itself,  was  of  high  antiquity,  having 
probably  its  origin  in  the  Roman  offerings  of  the  Primitiae,  from  which  (after  being  rendered 
VOL  I.  Z 


170  PAROCHIAL    PERAMBULATIONS. 

made;  and  the  mercy  of  God  implored,  that  he  would  avert  the  evils  of  plague 
and  pestilence,  that  he  would  send  them  good  and  seasonable  weather,  and  give 
them  in  due  season  the  fruits  of  the  earth. 

conformable  to  our  purer  worship)  it  was  adopted  by  the  first  Christians,  and  handed  down, 
through  a  succession  of  ages,  to  modern  times.  The  idea  was,  no  doubt,  that  of  returning  thanks 
to  God,  by  whose  goodness  the  face  of  nature  was  renovated,  and  fresh  means  provided  for  the 
sustenance  and  comfort  of  his  creatures.  It  was  discontinued  about  1765." 

"  The  boundaries  of  the  township  and  parish  of  Wolverhampton  are  in  many  points  marked  out 
by  what  are  called  Gospel  Trees,  from  the  custom  of  having  the  Gospel  read  under  or  near  them 
by  the  clergyman  attending  the  parochial  perambulations.  Those  near  the  town  were  visited  for 
the  same  purpose  by  the  Processioners  before  mentioned,  and  are  still  preserved  with  the  strictest 
care  and  attention." 

The  subsequent  is  from  Herrick's  Hesperides,  p.  18. 

" Dearest,  bury  me 

Under  that  Holy-Oke,  or  Gospel  Tree; 
Where  (though  thou  see'st  not)  thou  may'st  think  upon 
Me,  when  t/iou  yeerly  go  'st  Procession." 

It  appears,  from  a  curious  Sermon  preached  at  Blanford  Forum,  Dorsetshire,  January  17th, 
1570,  by  William  Kcthe,  minister,  and  dedicated  to  Ambrose  Earl  of  Warwick,  8vo.  Lond. 
p.  20.  that  in  Rogation  Week  the  Catholicks  had  their  "Gospelles  at  superstitious  CROSSES, 
declc'd  like  idols*." 

Plott,  in  his  History  of  Oxfordshire,  p.  203,  tells  us  that  at  Stanlake,  in  that  county,  the 
minister  of  the  parish,  in  his  Procession  in  Rogation  Week,  reads  the  Gospel  at  a  barrel's  head,  in 
the  cellar  of  the  Chequer  Inn,  in  that  town,  where  some  say  there  was  formerly  an  hermitage, 
others  that  there  was  antiently  a  Cross,  at  which  they  read  a  Gospel  in  former  times ;  over  which 
the  house,  and  particularly  the  cellar,  being  built,  they  are  forced  to  continue  the  custom  in  man- 
ner as  above. 

J.  Boemus  Aubanus  tells  us,  that  in  Franconia,  in  his  time,  the  following  rites  were  used  on 
this  occasion,  some  of  which  are  still  retained  at  Oxford,  and  in  London,  and  probably  in  many 
other  places. 

"Tribus  illis  diebus,  quibus  Apostolico  Instituto,  rnajores  Litanise  passim  per  totum  orbempera- 

*  The  following  occurs  among  Flecknoe's  Epigrams,  p.  85  : 

"  On  the  Fanaticks,  or  Cross-Haters. 
"  Who  will  not  be  baptiz'd,  onely  because 
In  Baptism  they  make  the  sign  o"  th'  Cross, 
Shewing,  the  whilst,  how  well  the  Divel  and  he, 
In  loving  of  the  signe  «'  th'  Cross,  agree. 
Seeing  how  every  one  in  swimming  does 
Stretch  forth  their  arms,  and  make  the  sign  o'  th'  Cro«s, 
Were  he  to  swim,  rather  than  make  (I  think) 
The  si^ne  o'  th'  Cross,  he'd  sooner  chuse  to  sink." 


PAROCHIAL   PERAMBULATIONS.  171 

The  Litanies  or  Rogations  then  used  gave  the  name  of  Rogation  Weekd  to 
this  time.  They  occur  as  early  as  the  550th  year  of  the  Christian  aera,  when 
they  were  first  observed  by  Mamertius  Bishop  of  Vienna,  on  account  of  the 

guntur,  in  plurimis  Franconiae  locis  multts  Cruces  (sic  enim  dicunt  parochianos  Coctus,  quibus 
turn  sanctae  Crucis  Vexillum  praeferri  solet)  conveniunt.  In  sacrisque  aedibus  non  siinul  et  unain 
inclodiam,  sed  singular  singulam  per  chores  separatim  canunt :  et  puellae  et  adolescent es  mun- 
diori  quique  habitu  amicti  frondentibus  sertis  caput  coronati  omnes  et  scipionibus  salignis  in- 
structi.  Stant  sacrarum  /Kdimn  sacerdotes  diligenter  singularum  cantus  attendcntes  s  et  quam- 
cunque  suavius  cantare  cognoscunt,  illi  ex  veteri  more  aliquot  vini  conchas  dari  adjudicant."  p.  269. 

At  Oxford,  at  this  time,  the  little  Crosses  cut  in  the  stones  of  buildings,  to  denote  the  division 
of  the  parishes,  are  whitened  with  chalk.  Great  numbers  of  boys,  with  peeled  willow-rods  in 
their  hands,  accompany  the  minister  in  the  Procession. 

In  one  of  "  Skelton's  Merie  Tales,"  he  says  to  a  cobler,  "  Neybour,  you  be  a  tall  man,  and  in 
the  kynge's  warres  you  must  here  a  standard :  a  Standard,  said  the  cobler,  what  a  thing  is  tliat  J 
Skelton  saide,  it  is  a  great  Banner,  such  a  one  as  thou  dooest  use  to  beare  in  Rogacyon  Wceke." 

In  Bridges's  History  of  Northamptonshire  are  recorded  various  instances  of  having  Processions 
on  Cross  Monday. 

Mr.  Pennant,  in  his  Tour  from  Chester  to  London,  p.  30,  tells  us,  that,  "  on  Ascension  Day, 
the  old  inhabitants  of  Nantwich  piously  sang  a  hymn  of  thanksgiving  for  the  blessing  of  the  Brine. 
A  veiy  antient  Pit,  called  the  Old  Brine,  was  also  held  in  great  veneration,  and  till  within  these 
tew  years  was  annually,  on  that  Festival,  bedecked  with  boughs,  flowers,  and  garlands,  and  was 
encircled  by  a  jovial  band  of  young  people,  celebrating  the  day  with  song  and  dance." 

<1  In  "  The  Epistles  and  Gospelles,"  &c.  London,  imprinted  by  Richard  Bankes,  4to.  b.  I.  fol. 
.'J9.  is  given  a  "  Sermon  in  the  Crosse  Dayes,  or  Rogation  Dayes."  It  begins  thus  :  "  Good  people, 
this  weke  is  called  the  Rogation  Weke,  bycause  in  this  wekc  we  be  wonte  to  make  Bolempne  & 
generall  supplications,  or  prayers,  which  be  also  called  Lytanyes."  The  preacher  complains: 
"  Alacke,  for  pitie  !  these  solenme  and  accustomable  processions  and  supplications  be  nowe  growen 
into  a  right  foule  and  detestable  abuse,  so  that  the  moost  parte  of  men  and  women  do  come  forth 
rather  to  set  out  and  shew  themselves,  and  to  passe  the  time  with  vayne  and  unprofitable  tales  and 
mery  fables,  than  to  make  generall  supplications  and  prayers  to  God,  for  theyr  lackes  and  necessi- 
ties. I  wyll  not  speake  of  the  rage  and  furour  of  these  uplandysh  processions  and  gangynges  about, 
which  be  spent  in  ryotyng  and  in  belychere.  Furthermore,  the  Banners  and  Badges  of  the  Crosse 
be  so  unreverently  handled  and  abused,  that  it  is  merveyle  God  destroye  us  not  in  one  daye.  In 
these  Rogation  Days,  if  it  is  to  be  asked  of  God,  and  prayed  for,  that  God  of  his  goodnes  wyll 
defende  and  save  the  corne  in  the  felde,  and  that  he  wyll  vouchsave  to  pourge  the  ayer.  For  this 
cause  be  certaine  Gospels  red  in  the  wide  felde  amonges  the  corne  and  grasse,  that  by  the  vertue 
and  operation  of  God's  word,  the  power  of  the  wicked  spirites,  which  kepe  in  the  air  and  infccte 
the  same  (whence  come  pestilences  and  the  other  kyndes  of  diseases  and  syknesses),  may  be  layde 
downe,  and  the  aier  made  pure  and  cleane,  to  th'  intent  the  corne  may  remaine  unharmed,  and 
not  infected  of  the  sayd  hurteful  spirites,  but  serve  us  for  our  use  and  bodely  sustenauuce." 


172  PAROCHIAL   PERAMBULATIONS. 

frequent  earthquakes  that  happened,  and  the  incursions  of  wild  beasts,  which 
laid  in  ruins  and  depopulated  the  City6. 

Blount  tells  us  that  Rogation  Week  (Saxon,  Dang  bagaj-,  i.  e.  days  of  perambulation,)  is  always 
the  next  but  one  before  Whitsunday  ;  and  so  called,  because  on  Monday,  Tuesday,  and  Wednes- 
day of  that  week,  Rogations  and  Litanies  were  used ;  and  fasting,  or,  at  least,  abstinence,  then 
enjoined  by  the  Church  to  all  persons,  not  only  for  a  devout  preparative  to  the  feast  of  Christ's 
glorious  Ascension,  and  the  descent  of  the  Holy  Ghost  shortly  after,  but  also  to  request  and  sup- 
plicate the  blessing  of  God  upon  the  fruits  of  the  earth.  And,  in  this  respect,  the  solemnization 
of  matrimony  is  forbidden,  from  the  first  day  of  (he  said  week  till  Trinity  Sunday.  The  Dutch 
call  it  Cruys-week,  Cross-week,  and  it  is  so  called  in  some  parts  of  England,  because  of  old,  (as 
still  among  the  Roman  Catholicks,)  when  the  Priests  went  in  procession  this  week,  the  Cross  was 
carried  before  them.  In  the  Inns  of  Court,  he  adds,  it  is  called  Grass-week,  because  the  commons 
of  that  week  consist  much  of  sallads,  hard  eggs,  and  green  sauce  upon  some  of  the  days.  The 
feast  of  the  old  Romans,  called  llobigalia  and  Ambarvalia  (quod  victima  arva  ambiret)  did,  in 
their  heathenish  way,  somewhat  resemble  these  institutions,  and  were  kept  in  May,  in  honour  of 
Robigus. 

Johnson,  in  his  edition  of  Gerarde's  Herbal,  speaking  of  the  Bircti  Tree,  p.  14/8,  says :  "  It  serveth 
well  to  the  decking  up  of  houses  and  banquetting-rooms,  for  places  of  pleasure,  and  for  beautify- 
ing of  streets  in  the  Crosse  or  Gang  Week,  and  such  like." 

Rogation  Week,  in  the  Northern  parts  of  England,  is  still  called  GANG  WEEK,  from  to  gang, 
which,  in  the  North,  signifies  to  go.  Gang-puca,  also,  occurs  in  the  rubrick  to  John,  c.  17,  in 
the  Saxon  Gospels :  and  Ganjj-bagaj-  are  noticed  in  the  Laws  of  Alfred,  c.  6.  and  in  those  of 
Athelstan,  c.  13.  See  Lambard's  Archaionomie,  fol.  Cantabr.  1044.  pp.  24.  49.  Ascension  Day, 
emphatically  termed  Huly  Thursday  with  us,  is  designated  in  the  same  manner  by  King  Alfred, 
On  pone  haljan  punpej-  ba;j.  Gang-days  are  classed  under  certain  "  Idolatries  maintained  by  the 
Church  of  England,"  in  a  work  intitled,  "The  Cobler's  Book."  See  Herbert's  edit,  of  Ames, 
p.  1687.  See  Wheatley's  Illustration  of  the  Common  Prayer,  8vo.  Lond.  1741.  p.  240.  Du  Cange 
Gloss,  v.  ROGATIO.  Hire.  Glossar.  Suio-Gothicum,  v.  GANGDAYAR. 

In  "TheTryall  of  a  Man's  owne  selfe,"  by  Thomas  Newton,  12mo.  Lond.  1602.  p.  47.  he 
enquires,  under  "  Sinnes  externall  and  outward,"  against  the  first  Commandment,  whether  the 
parish  clergyman  "have  patiently  winked  at,  and  quietly  suffered,  any  rytes  wherein  hath  been 
apparent  superstition — as  gadding  and  raunging  about  with  procession."  To  gadde  in  procession  is 
among  the  customs  censured  by  John  Bale,  in  his  Declaration  of  Bonuer's  Articles,  1554. 
signal,  D.  3. 

In  Michael  Wodde's  Dialogue,  (already  cited  under  Palm  Sunday,)  A.  D.  1554.  signat.  D.  8. 
we  read :  "  What  say  ye  to  procession  in  Gang-dales,  when  Sir  John  saith  a  Gospel  to  our  corne 
feldes.  (Oliver^  As  for  your  Latine  Gospels  read  to  the  corne,  I  am  sure  the  corne  under- 
standeth  as  much  as  you,  and  therefore  hath  as  much  profit  by  them  as  ye  have,  that  is  to  sai, 
none  at  al." 

'  "  Dum  Civitas  Viennensium  crebro  Terra;  motu  subrueretur  et  Bestiarum  desolaretur  iucursu, 


PAROCrtlAL    PERAMBULATIONS. 

By  the  Canons  of  Cuthbert,  Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  made  at  Cloveshoo, 
in  the  year  747,  it  was  ordered  that  Litanies,  that  is,  Rogations,  should  be 
observed  by  the  clergy  and  all  the  people,  with  great  reverence,  on  the  seventh 
of  the  Calends  of  May,  according  to  the  rites  of  the  Church  of  Rome,  which 
terms  this  the  greater  Litany,  and  also,  according  to  the  custom  of  our  fore- 
fathers, on  the  three  days  before  the  Ascension  of  our  Lord,  with  fastings,  &c. f 

In  the  Injunctions  also  made  in  the  reign  of  Queen  Elizabeths,  it  is  ordered 

— — — — ^ _________^_ . : _ : . . ___ . . : . . — t 

sanctus  Mamertus,  ejus  Civitatis  Episcopus,  eas  legitur  pro  mails,  qua  premisimus  ordinasse. 
Walifred.  IStral.  c.  28.  clc  Rep.  Ecclesiast. 

f  Concil.  Cloveshoviae  sub  Cuthberto  Arch.  Cant.  An.  747-  cap.  1C.  Ut  Laetauia;,  t.  Rogationes,  a 
clero  omnique  populo  his  die-bus  cum  magna  revcrentia  agantur,  id  est,  septimo  Kalendarum 
Maiarum  juxta  ritum  Romans;  Ecclcsis,  qu:e  et  Letania  Major  apud  earn  vocatur.  Et  item  quo- 
que  secundum  inorem  priorum  nostrorum,  3  dies  ante  Ascensionem  Domini  nostri  in  ccelos, 
cum  jejunio,  &c.  Cone.  Brit.  p.  249.  Spelman,  Gloss,  p.  3t!9.  v.  LITANIA. 

f  Injunct.  19.  Eliz.  By  "  Advertisements  partly  for  due  Order  in  the  publique  Administration 
of  Common  Prayers,  &c.  by  vertue  of  the  Queene  s  Majesties  Letters  commaunding  the  same,  the 
25th  day  of  January  (/  An.  Eliz.)  4to.  Lond.  imp.  by  Reginalde  Wolfe,  signat.  B.  1.  it  was  di- 
rected, inter  alia — "Item,  that,  in  the  Rogation  Dates  of  Procession,  they  singe  or  saye  in  Englishe 
the  two  Psalntes  beginnyng  '  Benedic  Anima  mea,'  &c.  withe  the  Letanye  S;  suffrages  thereunto, 
tcithe  one  homelye  of  thanlfes^evyng  to  God,  alreadie  devised  and  divided  into  foure  partes,  with- 
out  addition  of  any  superstitious  ceremonyes  heretofore  used." 

I  find  the  following  in  Articles  of  Enquiry  within  the  Archdeaconry  of  Middlesex,  A.  D.  1662, 
4to.  "  Doth  your  Minister  or  Curate,  in  Rogation  Dayes,  go  in  Perambulation  about  your  Parish, 
saying  and  using  the  Psalms  and  Suffrages  by  Law  appointed,  as  viz.  Psalm  103.  and  104.  the 
Letany  and  Suffrages,  together  with  the  Homily,  set  out  for  that  end  and  purpose  ?  Doth  he  admo- 
nish the  people  to  give  thanks  to  God,  if  they  see  any  likely  hopes  of  plenty,  and  to  call  upon  him 
for  his  mercy,  if  there  be  any  fear  of  scarcity  :  and  do  you,  the  Churchwardens,  assist  him  in  it }" 

In  similar  Articles  for  the  Archdeaconry  of  Northumberland,  1662,  the  following  occurs  : 
"  Doth  your  Parson  or  Vicar  observe  the  three  Rogation  Dayes." 

In  others  for  the  Diocese  of  Chichester,  1637,  is  the  subsequent:  "Doth  your  Minister 
yeerely,  in  Rogation  Weeke,  for  the  knowing  and  distinguishing  of  the  bounds  of  parishes,  and 
for  obtaining  God's  blessing  upon  the  fruites  of  the  ground,  walke  the  Perambulation,  and  say, 
or  sing,  in  English,  the  Gospells,  Epistles,  Letanie,  and  other  devout  Prayers ;  together  with 
the  103d  and  101th  Psalmes  ?" 

In  Herbert's  Country  Parson,  12mo.  Lond.  1652,  p.  157.  ch.  35,  we  are  told:  "The  Countrey 
Parson  is  a  lover  of  old  customs,  if  they  be  good  and  harmlesse.  Particularly,  he  loves  Procession, 
and  maintains  it,  because  there  are  contained  therein  four  manifest  advantages.  First,  a  blessing 
of  God  for  the  fruits  of  the  field.  2.  Justice  in  the  preservation  of  bounds.  3.  Charitie  in  loving, 
walking,  and  neighbourly  accompanying  one  another,  with  reconciling  of  differences  at  that  time, 


174  PAKOCHIAL    PERAMBULATIONS. 

"  that  the  Curate,  at  certain  and  convenient  places,  shall  admonish  the  people 
to  give  thanks  to  God,  in  the  beholding  of  God's  benefits,  for  the  increase  and 
abundance  of  his  fruits,  saying  the  103d  Psalm,  &c.  At  which  time  the  mini- 
ster shall  inculcate  these,  or  such  sentences, —  'Cursed  be  he  which  translateth 
the  bounds  and  doles  of  his  neighbours,'  or  such  orders  of  prayers  as  shall  be 
hereafter." 

What  is  related  on  this  head  in  the  life  of  Hooker,  author  of  the  Ecclesiasti- 
cal Polity,  is  extremely  interesting11 :  "  He  would  by  no  means  omit  the  cus- 
tomary time  of  Procession,  persuading  all,  both  rich  and  poor,  if  they  desired 
the  preservation  of  love  and  their  parish  rights  and  liberties,  to  accompany  him 

if  there  be  any.  4.  Mercie,  in  relieving  the  poor  by  a  liberal  distribution  and  largess,  which  at  that 
time  is  or  ought  to  be  used.  Wherefore  he  exacts  of  all  to  be  present  at  the  Perambulation,  and 
those  that  withdraw  and  sever  themselves  from  it  he  mislikes,  and  reproves  as  uncharitable  and 
unneighbourly ;  and,  if  they  will  not  reforme,  presents  them." 

In  Mr.  Nichols's  Churchwardens'  Accounts,  4to.   1797,   St.  Margaret's  Westminster,  under 
A.  D.  1555,  is  the  following  article : 

"  Item,  paid  for  spiced  bread  on  the  Ascension-Even,  and  on  the  Ascension  Day,  Is." 

1556. 

"  Item,  paid  for  bread,  wine,  ale,  and  beer,  upon  the  Ascension-Even  and  Day,  against  my 
Lord  Abbott  and  his  Covent  cam  in  Procession,  and  for  strewing  herbs  the  samme  day,  7«.  Id." 

1559. 

"  Item,  for  bread,  ale,  and  beer,  on  Tewisday  in  the  Rogacion  Weeke,  for  the  parishioners  that 
went  in  Procession,  Is." 

1560. 

"  Item,  for  bread  and  drink  for  the  parishioners  that  went  the  Circuit  the  Tuesday  in  the  Roga- 
tion Week,  3s.  4d." 

"  Item,  for  bread  and  drink  the  Wednesday  in  the  Rogation  Week,  for  Mr.  Archdeacon  and  the 
Quire  of  the  Minster,  3s.  4d." 

1585. 

"  Item,  paid  for  going  the  Perambulacion,  for  fish,  butter,  cream,  milk,  conger,  bread  and 
drink,  and  other  necessaries,  4s.  8±d." 

1597. 

"  Item,  for  the  charges  of  diet  at  Kensington  for  the  Perambulation  of  the  Parish,  being  a  yeare 
of  great  scarcity  and  deerness,  a£6.  8s.  8d." 

1605. 

"  Item,  paid  for  bread,  drink,  cheese,  fish,  cream,  and  other  necessaries,  when  the  worshipful! 
and  others  of  the  parish  went  the  Perambulation  to  Kensington,  s£.\.5. 
fc  See  Zouch's  edit,  of  Walton's  Lives,  Svo.  York,  1807,  p.  239. 


PAROCHIAL   PERAMBULATIONS.  175 

hi  his  Perambulation':  and  most  did  so:  in  which  Perambulation  he  would 
usually  express  more  pleasant  discourse  than  at  other  times,  and  would  then 
always  drop  some  loving  and  facetious  observations,  to  be  remembered  against 
the  next  year,  especially  by  the  boys'  and  young  people:  still  inclining  them, 

1  "On  Ascension  Day,"  says  Sir  John  Hawkins,  in  his  History  of  Music,  vol.  II.  p.  112,  "it  is 
the  custom  of  the  inhabitants  of  parishes,  with  their  officers,  to  perambulate  in  order  to  perpe- 
tuate the  memory  of  their  boundaries,  and  to  impress  the  remembrance  thereof  in  the  minds  of 
young  persons,  especially  boys ;  to  invite  boys,  therefore,  to  attend  to  this  business,  some  little 
gratuities  were  found  necessary;  accordingly,  it  was  the  custom,  at  the  commencement  of  the  Pro- 
cession, to  distribute  to  each  a  willow-waud,  and  at  the  end  thereof  a  handful  of  points,  which 
were  looked  on  by  them  as  honorary  rewards  long  after  they  ceased  to  be  useful,  and  were  called 
Tags*." 

In  the  Churchwardens'  Accounts  of  St.  Mary  at  Hill,  in  the  City  of  London,  1682,  are  the  fol- 
lowing entiies :  sS-    s.    d. 
"  For  fruit  on  Perambulation  Day  1     0    O 
For  points  for  two  yeres  -----2  10    0 

The  following  extracts  are  from  the  Churchwardens'  Books  of  Chelsea : 
"  1670.  Spent  at  the  Perambulation  Dinner  3  10    O 
Given  to  the  boys  that  were  whipt  -  -  0     4     O 
Paid  for  poynts  for  the  boys  -  -  -  -  O    2     0 

Lysons's  Environs  of  London,  vol.  ii.  p.  146. 

The  second  of  these  entries  alludes  to  another  expedient  for  impressing  the  recollection  of  par- 
ticular boundaries  on  the  minds  of  some  of  the  young  people. 

It  appears  from  an  Order  of  the  Common  Council  of  Newcastle-upon-Tyne,  dated  15th  May 
1657,  that  the  scholars  of  the  public  grammar-school  there,  and  other  schools  in  the  town,  were 
invited  to  attend  the  magistrates  when  they  perambulated  the  boundaries  of  the  town. 

On  Ascension  Day,  the  Magistrates,  River-Jury,  &c.  of  the  Corporation  of  the  above  town, 
according  to  an  antient  custom,  make  their  annual  procession  by  water  in  their  barges,  visiting 
the  bounds  of  their  jurisdiction  on  the  river,  to  prevent  encroachments.  Chearful  libations  are 
offered  on  the  occasion  to  the  Genius  of  our  wealthy  Flood,  which  Milton  calls  the  "  coaly  Tyne :" 

"  The  sable  stores  on  whose  majestic  strand 
More  tribute  yield  than  Tagus'  golden  sand." 
In  the  Painted  Hall  at  Greenwich  Hospital  the  Genius  of  the  Tyne  is  represented  pouring  forth 

*  The  following  occurs  in  Hcrrick's  Hesperides,  p.  102,  and  seems  to  prove  that  children  used  to  play  at  some 
game  fn  points  and  pins : 

— —  "  A  little  transverce  bone, 
Which  boyes  and  bruckel'd  children  call 
(Playing  for  points  and  pins)  Cockall." 


176  PAROCHIAL    PERAMBULATIONS. 

and  all  his  present  Parishioners,  to  meekness,  and  mutual  kindnesses  and  love; 
because  love  thinks  not  evil,  but  covers  a  multitude  of  infirmities." 

The  word  Parochia,  or  Parish,  antiently  signified  what  we  now  call  the  Dio- 
cese of  a  Bishop. 

In  the  early  ages  of  the  Christian  Church,  as  kings  founded  cathedrals,  so 
great  men  founded  parochial  churches,  for  the  conversion  of  themselves  and 
their  dependants :  the  bounds  of  the  parochial  division  being  commonly  the 
same  with  those  of  the  founder's  jurisdiction. 

Some  foundations  of  this  kind  were  as  early  as  the  time  of  Justinian  the 
Emperor. 

Before  the  reign  of  Edward  the  Confessor,  the  Parochial  Divisions  in  this 
kingdom  were  so  far  advanced,  that  every  person  might  be  traced  to  the  Parish 
to  which  he  belonged.  This  appears  by  the  Canons  published  in  the  time  of 
Edgar  and  Canute.  The  distinction  of  Parishes  as  they  now  stand  appears  to 
have  been  settled  before  the  Norman  Conquest.  In  Domesday  Book  the  Pa- 
rishes agree  very  near  to  the  modern  division  k. 

Camclen  tells  us  that  this  kingdom  was  first  divided  into  Parishes  by  Ilono- 
rius,  Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  A.  D.  636,  and  counts  two  thousand  nine 
hundred  and  eighty-four  Parishes. 

The  Lateran  Council  made  some  such  division  as  this.  It  compelled  every 
man  to  pay  Tithes  to  his  Parish-priest.  Men  before  that  time  payed  them  to 
whom  they  pleased  ;  but,  without  being  sarcastical,  one  might  observe,  that 
since  then  it  has  happened  that  few,  if  they  could  be  excused  from  doing  it, 
would  care  to  pay  them  at  all. 

The  following  is  the  account  given  of  "Procession  Weeke"  and  "Ascension 
Day,"  in  Barnabc  Googe's  Translation  of  the  "  Ilegrium  Pupisticum"  of  Nao- 
georgus,  fol.  53 : 

his  coal  in  great  abundance.  There  is  the  Severn  with  her  lampreys,  and  the  Humber  with  his 
pigs  of  lead,  which,  with  the  Thames  and  Tyne,  compose  the  four  great  rivers  of  England. 

Heath,  in  his  History  of  the  Scilly  Islands,  8vo.  Lond.  1750,  p.  128,  tells  us :  "  At  Exeter,  in 
Devon,  the  boys  have  an  annual  custom  of  damming-up  the  channel  in  the  streets,  at  going  the 
bounds  of  the  several  parishes  in  the  city,  and  of  splashing  the  water  upon  people  passing  by." 
"  Neighbours  as  well  as  strangers  are  forced  to  compound  hostilities,  by  giving  the  boys  of  each 
parish  money  to  pass  without  ducking :  each  parish  asserting  its  prerogative,  in  this  respect." 

k  See  Collier's  Eceles.  Hist.  vol.  I.  p.  231. 


PAROCHIAL   PERAMBULATIONS.  177 

"  Now  comes  the  day  wherein  they  gad  abrade,  with  Crosse  in  hande, 

To  bounties  of  every  field,  and  round  about  their  neighbour's  lande  : 

And,  as  they  go,   they  sing  and  pray  to  euery  saint  aboue, 

But  to  our  Ladie  specially,  whom  most  of  all  they  loue. 

When  as  they  to  the  towne  are  come,  the  Church  they  enter  in, 

And  looke  what  Saint  that  Church  doth  guide,  they  humbly  pray  to  him, 

That  he  preserve  both  come  andfruite  from  storms  and  tempest  great, 

And  them  defend  from  harme,  and  send  them  store  of  drink  e  and  meat. 

This  done,  they  to  the  taverne  go,  or  in  the  fieldes  they  dine, 

Where  downe  they  sit  and  feede  a  pace,  and  fill  themselues  with  wine, 

So  much  that  oftentymes  without  the  Crosse  they  come  away, 

And  miserably  they  reele,  till  as  their  stomacke  vp  they  lay. 

These  things  three  dayes  continually  are  done,   with  solemne  sport, 

With  many  Crosses  often  they  vnto  some  Church  resort, 

Whereas  they  all  do  chaunt  alovvde,  wherby  there  streight  doth  spring, 

A  bawling  noyse,  while  euery  man  seekes  hyghest  for  to  sing." — 

"Then  conies  the  day  when  Christ  ascended  to  his  father's  seate, 
Which  day  they  also  celebrate,  with  store  of  drinke  and  meate1. 

1  The  following  is  from  Hasted's  History  of  Kent,  vol.  i.  p.  109  : 

"  There  is  an  odd  custom  used  in  these  parts,  about  Keston  and  Wickham,  in  Rogation  Week ; 
at  which  time  a  number  of  young  men  meet  together  for  the  purpose,  and  with  a  most  hideous 
noise,  run  into  the  orchards,  and,  incircling  each  tree,  pronounce  these  words : 

"  Stand  fast  root ;  bear  well  top ; 
God  send  us  a  youling  sop, 
Every  twig  apple  big, 
Every  bough  apple  enow." 

For  which  incantation  the  confused  rabble  expect  a  gratuity  in  money,  or  drink,  which  is  no 
less  welcome ;  but  if  they  are  disappointed  of  both,  they  with  great  solemnity  anathematize  the 
owners  and  trees  with  altogether  as  insignificant  a  curse. 

"  It  seems  highly  probable  that  this  custom  has  arisen  from  the  antient  one  of  Perambulation 
among  the  Heathens,  when  they  made  prayers  to  the  Gods  for  the  use  and  blessing  of  the  fruits 
coming  up,  with  thanksgiving  for  those  of  the  preceding  year ;  and  as  the  Heathens  supplicated 
Eolus,  God  of  the  Winds,  for  his  favorable  blasts,  so  in  this  custom  they  still  retain  his  name 
with  a  very  small  variation  j  this  ceremony  is  called  Youling,  and  the  word  is  often  used  in  their 
invocations." 

Armstrong,  in  his  History  of  Minorca,  Svo.  Lond.  1752,  p.  5,  speaking  of  the  Terminalia,  feast* 

instituted  by  the  Romans  in  honour  of  Terminus,  the  guardian  of  boundaries  and  landmarks, 

whose  festival  was  celebrated  at  Rome  on  the  22d  or  23d  of  February  every  year,  when  cakes 

and  fruits  were  offered  to  the  God,  and  sometimes  sheep  and  swine,  says :  "  He  was  represented 

VOL.   I,  A  A 


178  PAROCHIAL   PERAMBULATIONS. 

Then  every  man  some  birde  must  eate,  I  know  not  to  what  ende, 
And  after  dinner  all  to  Church  they  come,  and  their  attende. 
The  blocke  that  on  the  aultar  still  till  then  was  scene  to  stande, 
Is  drawne  vp  hie  aboue  the  roofe,  by  ropes,  and  force  of  hande  : 
The  Priestes  about  it  rounde  do  stand,  and  chaunt  it  to  the  skie, 
For  all  these  mens  religion  great  in  singing  most  doth  lie. 
Then  out  of  hande  the  dreadfull  shape  of  Sathan  downe  they  throw, 
Oft  times,  with  fire  burning  bright,  and  dasht  asunder  tho, 
The  boyes  with  greedie  eyes  do  watch,  and  on  him  straight  they  fall, 
And  beate  him  sore  with  rods,  and  breake  him  into  peeces  small. 
This  done,  the  wafers  downe  doe  cast,  and  singing  Cakes  the  while, 
With  Papers  rounde  amongst  them  put,  the  children  to  beguile. 
With  laughter  great  are  all  things  done :  and  from  the  beames  they  let 
Great  streames  of  water  downe  to  fall,  on  whom  they  meane  to  wet. 
And  thus  this  solemne  holiday,  and  hye  renowmed  feast, 
And  all  their  whole  deuotion  here  is  ended  with  a  ieast." 


under  the  figure  of  an  old  man's  head  and  trunk  to  the  middle  without  arms,  which  they  erected 
on  a  kind  of  pedestal  that  diminished  downwards  to  the  base,  under  which  they  usually  buried  a 
quantity  of  charcoal,  as  they  thought  it  to  be  incorruptible  in  the  earth ;  and  it  was  criminal  by 
their  laws,  and  regarded  as  an  act  of  impiety  to  this  Divinity,  to  remove  or  deface  any  of  the 
Termini.  Nay,  they  visited  them  at  set  times,  as  the  Children  in  London  are  accustomed  to  per- 
ambulate the  limits  of  their  Parish,  which  they  call  processioning ;  a  custom  probably  derived  to 
them  from  the  Romans,  who  were  so  many  ages  in  possession  of  the  Island  of  Great  Britain." 

The  following  customs,  though  not  strictly  applicable  to  Parochial  Perambulations,  can  pro- 
perly find  a  place  no  where  but  in  this  Section. 

"  Shaftsbury  is  pleasantly  situated  on  a  hill,  but  has  no  water,  except  what  the  inhabitants 
fetch  at  a  quarter  of  a  mile's  distance  from  the  manour  of  Gillingham,  to  the  lord  of  which  they 
pay  a  yearly  ceremony  of  acknowledgement,  on  the  Monday  before  Holy  Thursday.  They  dress 
up  a  garland  very  richly,  calling  it  the  Prize  Besom,  and  carry  it  to  the  Manour-house,  attended 
by  a  calf's-head  and  a  pair  of  gloves,  which  are  presented  to  the  lord.  This  done,  the  Prize 
Besom  is  returned  again  with  the  same  pomp,  and  taken  to  pieces;  just  like  a  milk-maid's 
garland  on  May  Day,  being  made  up  of  all  the  plate  that  can  be  got  together  among  the  house- 
keepers." Travels  of  Tom  Thumb,  p.  16. 

In  the  Statistical  Account  of  Scotland,  vol.  xv.  p.  45.  (8vo.  Edinb.  1795,)  Parish  of  Lanark, 
in  the  county  of  Lanark,  we  read  of  "  the  riding  of  the  Marches,  which  is  done  annually  upon 
the  day  after  Whitsunday  Fair  by  the  Magistrates  and  Burgesses,  called  here  the  Landsmark  or 
Langemark  Day,  from  the  Saxon  langemark.  It  is  evidently  of  Saxon  origin,  and  probably  esta- 
blished here  in  the  reign  of,  or  sometime  posterior  to  Malcolm  I." 

My  servant,  B.  Jelkes,  who  lived  several  years  at  Evesham  in  Worcestershire,  informed  me  of 
an  ancient  custom  at  that  place  for  the  master-gardeners  to  give  their  work-people  a  treat  of 
baked  peas,  both  white  and  grey,  (and  pork,)  every  year  on  Holy  Thursday.  J.  B. 


179 


MAY  DAY  CUSTOMS. 


"  If  them  lov'st  me  then, 

Steal  forth  thy  father's  house  to-morrow  night ; 
And  in  the  wood,  a  league  without  the  town, 
Where  I  did  meet  thee  once  with  Helena, 
To  do  observance  to  a  morn  of  MAY, 
There  will  I  stay  for  thee." 

Shakesp.  Mids.  N.  Dream,  A.  i.  sc.  1. 


IT  was  anciently  the  custom  for  all  ranks  of  people  to  go  out  a  Maying  early 
on  the  first  of  Maya.  Bourneb  tells  us  that,  in  his  time,  in  the  villages  in  the 
North  of  England,  the  juvenile  part  of  both  sexes  were  wont  to  rise  a  little  after 
midnight  on  the  morning  of  that  day,  and  walk  to  some  neighbouring  wood, 
accompanied  with  musick  and  the  blowing  of  horns c,  where  they  broke  down 


a  Stubbs,  in  the  "Anatomic  of  Abuses,"  Svo.  Lond.  1585,  fol.  94,  tells  us:  "Against  Maie  — 
every  parishe,  towne,  and  village,  assemble  themselves  together,  bothe  men,  women,  and  chil- 
dren, olde  and  yong,  even  all  indifferently :  and  either  goyng  all  together,  or  deuidyng  themselves 
into  companies,  they  goe  some  to  the  woodes  and  groves,  some  to  the  hilles  and  niountaines, 
some  to  one  place,  some  to  another,  where  they  spende  all  the  night  in  pastymes,  and  in  the 
mornyng  they  returne,  bringing  with  them  birch,  bowes,  and  braunches  of  trees,  to  deck  their 
assemblies  withall." — "  I  have  heard  it  credibly  reported,"  he  adds,  "  (and  that  riva  voce)  by  men 
of  great  gravitie,  credite,  and  reputation,  that  of  fourtie,  three  score,  or  a  hundred  maides  goyng 
to  the  woode  ouer  night,  there  have  scarcely  the  thirde  parte  of  them  returned  home  againe 
undefiled." 

b  Antiquit.  Vulg.  chap.  xxv. 

c  Hearne,  in  his  Preface  to  Robert  of  Gloucester's  Chronicle,  p.  xviii.  speaking  of  the  old  custom 

of  drinking  out  of  Horns,  observes :  "  'Tis  no  wonder,  therefore,  that  upon  the  Jollities  on  the 

Jirst  of  May  formerly,  the  custom  of  blowing  with,  and  drinking  in,  HORNS  so  much  prevailed, 

which,  though  it  be  now  generally  disus'd,  yet  the  custom  of  blowing  them  prevails  at  this  sea- 


180  MAY    DAY   CUSTOMS. 

branches  from  the  trees  and  adorned  them  with  nosegays  and  crowns  of  flowers. 
This  done,  they  returned  homewards  with  their  booty,  about  the  time  of  sun- 
rise, and  made  their  doors  and  windows  triumph  in  the  flowery  spoil d. 

There  was  a  time  when  this  custom  was  observed  by  noble  and  royal  per- 
sonages, as  well  as  the  vulgar.  Thus  we  read,  in  Chaucer's  Court  of  Love, 
that,  early  on  May  Day,  "  fourth  goth  al  the  Court,  both  most  and  lest,  to 
fetche  the  flouris  fresh,  and  braunch,  and  blome." 

It  is  on  record  that  King  Henry  the  Eighth  and  Queen  Katherine  partook  of 
this  diversion6:  and  historians  also  mention  that  he,  with  his  courtiers,  in  the 

son,  even  to  this  day,  at  Oxford,  to  remind  people  of  the  pleasantness  of  that  part  of  the  year, 
which  ought  to  create  mirth  and  gayety,  such  as  is  sketch'd  out  in  some  old  Books  "of  Offices, 
such  as  the  Prymer  of  Salisbury,  printed  at  Rouen,  1551,  8vo." 

[Aubrey,  in  his  "  Remains  of  Gentilisme  and  Judaisme,"  MS.  Lansd.  226.  fol.  5  b.  says  :  "  Me- 
morandum, at  Oxford  the  boys  do  blow  cows  horns  and  hollow  canes  all  night ;  and  on  May  Day 
the  young  maids  of  every  parish  carry  about  garlands  of  flowers,  which  afterwards  they  hang  up 
in  their  churches."] 

Mr.  Henry  Rowe,  in  a  note  in  his  Poems,  vol.  ii.  p.  4.  says  :  "The  Tower  of  Magdalen  Col- 
lege, Oxford,  erected  by  Cardinal  Wolsey,  when  bursar  of  the  College,  A.  D.  1492,  contains  a 
musical  peal  of  ten  bells,  and  on  May  Day  the  Choristers  assemble  on  the  top  to  usher  in  the  Spring." 
[Dr.  Chandler,  however,  in  his  Life  of  Bishop  Waynflete,  assures  us  that  WoLsey  had  no  share  in 
the  erection  of  the  structure :  and  Mr.  Chalmers,  in  his  History  of  the  University,  refers  the  ori- 
gin of  the  custom  to  a  mass  of  requiem,  wlu'ch,  before  the  Reformation,  used  to  be  annually  per- 
formed on  the  top  of  the  Tower,  for  the  soul  of  Henry  the  Seventh.     "  This  was  afterwards  com- 
muted," he  observes,  "  for  a  few  pieces  of  musick,  which  are  executed  by  the  Choristers,  and  for 
which  the  Rectory  of  Slimbridge,  in  Gloucestershire,  pays  annually  the  sum  of  s£lO."] 
d  In  Herrick's  Hesperides,  p.  74,  are  the  following  allusions  to  customs  on  May  Day : 
"Come,  my  Corinna,  come:  and  comming,  marke 
How  each  field  turns  a  street ;  each  street  a  park 
Made  green  and  trimmed  with  trees  :  see  how 
Devotion  gives  each  house  a  bough, 
Or  branch :  each  porch,  each  doore,  ere  this, 
An  arke,  a  tabernacle  is 
Made  up  of  white-thorn,  neatly  enterwove." 
*         *         *         * 

"  A  deale  of  youth,  ere  this,  is  come 
Back,  and  with  white-thorne  laden  home, 
Some  have  dispatch'd  their  cakes  and  creame, 
Before  that  we  have  left  to  dreame." 
*  Stow,  in  his  "  Survay  of  London,"  4to.  Lond.  1603,  p.  99,  quotes  from  Hall  an  account  of 


MAY    DAY    CUSTOMS.  181 

beginning  of  his  reign,  rose  on  May  Day  very  early  to  fetch  May,  or  green 
boughs,  and  they  went,  with  their  bows  and  arrows,  shooting  to  the  wood. 


Henry  the  Eighth's  riding  a  Maying  from  Greenwich  to  the  high  ground  of  Shooter's-hill,  with 
Queen  Katherine  his  wife,  accompanied  with  many  Lords  and  Ladies.  He  tells  us,  also,  that 
"  on  May  Day  in  the  morning,  every  man,  except  impediment,  would  walke  into  the  sweete  mea- 
dowes  and  greene  woods,  there  to  rejoyce  their  spirites  with  the  beauty  and  savour  of  sweete 
flowers,  and  with  the  harmony  of  birds,  praysing  God  in  their  kind." — "I  finde  also,"  he  adds, 
"  that  in  the  moneth  of  May,  the  citizens  of  London  of  all  estates,  lightly  in  every  parish,  or 
sometimes  two  or  three  parishes  joyning  togither,  had  their  severall  Mayings,  and  did  fetch  in 
May-poles,  with  diverse  warlike  shewes,  with  good  archers,  morice-dauncers,  and  other  devices, 
for  pastime  all  the  day  long,  and  towards  the  evening  they  had  stage-playes,  and  bonefiers  in  the 
streetcs.  Of  these  Mayings  we  reade,  in  the  raigne  of  Henry  the  Sixt,  that  the  aldermen  and 
shiriffes  of  London  being,  on  May  Day,  at  the  Bishop  of  London's  wood,  in  the  parish  of  Stebun- 
heath,  and  having  there  a  worshipfull  dinner  for  themselves  and  other  commers,  Lydgate  the 
Poet,  that  was  a  monke  of  Bery,  sent  to  them  by  a  pursiuant  a  joyfull  commendation  of  that  sea- 
son, containing  sixteen  staves  in  meter  roiall,  beginning  thus: 

"  Mightie  Flora,  Goddesse  of  fresh  flowers, 

Which  clothed  hath  the  soyle  in  lustie  greene, 
Made  buds  spring,  with  her  sweete  showeis, 

By  influence  of  the  sunne-shine. 
To  doe  pleasance  of  intent  full  cleane, 
Vnto  the  States  which  now  sit  here, 
Hath  Vere  downe  sent  her  owne  daughter  deare." 

Polydore  Vergil  says,  that  "  at  the  Calendes  of  Maie,"  not  only  houses  and  gates  were  gar- 
nished with  boughs  and  flowers,  but  "in  some  places  the  Churches,  whiche  fashion  is  derived  of 
the  Romaynes,  that  use  the  same  to  honour  their  goddesse  Flora  with  suche  ceremonies,  whom 
they  named  Goddesse  of  Fruites."  Langley's  Poljd.  Verg.  fol.  102  b. 

In  an  Account  of  Parish  Expences  in  Coates's  Hist,  of  Reading,  p.  216.  A.  D.  1504,  we  have: 
"  It.  payed,  for  felling  and  bryngy'g  home  of  the  bow  (bough)  set  in  the  M'cat-place,  for  settyng 
up  of  the  same,  mete  and  drink,  viiid." 

In  "Vox  Graculi,"  4to.  1623,  p.  62,  under  "May,"  are  the  following  observations  : 

"  To  Islington  and  Hogsdon  runncs  the  streame 
Of  giddie  people,  to  eate  cakes  and  creame." 

"  May  is  the  merry  moneth — on  the  first  day,  betimes  in  the  morning,  shall  young  fellowes  and 
mayds  be  so  enveloped  with  a  mist  of  wandring  out  of  their  wayes,  that  they  shall  fall  into  ditches 
one  upon  another.  In  the  afternoone,  if  the  skie  cleare  up,  shall  be  a  stinking  stirre  at  picke- 
hatch,  with  the  solemne  revels  of  morice-dancing,  and  the  hobbie-horse  so  neatly  presented,  as  if 
one  of  the  masters  of  the  parish  had  playd  it  himselfe.  Against  this  high-day,  likewise,  shall  be 


182  MAY    DAT    CUSTOMS. 

Shakespeare  says,  (Hen.  VIII.  A.  v.  sc.  3.)  it  was  impossible  to  make  the  peo- 
ple sleep  on  May  Morning;  and  (Mids.  N.  Dream,  A.,  iv.  sc.  1.)  that  they  rose 
early  to  observe  the  rite  of  May. 

The  Court  of  King  James  the  First,  and  the  populace,  long  preserved  the 
observance  of  the  Day,  as  Spelman's  Glossary  remarks,  under  the  word 
Maiuma. 

Milton  has  the  following  beautiful  Song  - 

"  On  May  Morning. 

"Now  the  bright  morning  star,  day's  harbinger, 
Comes  dancing  from  the  East,  and  leads  with  her 
The  flow'ry  May,  who  from  her  green  lap  throws 
The  yellow  Cowslip  and  the  pale  Primrose. 
Hail  bounteous  May  !   that  dost  inspire 
Mirth  and  youth  and  warm  desire ; 
Woods  and  groves  are  of  thy  dressing, 
Hill  and  dale  doth  boast  thy  blessing. 
Thus  we  salute  thee  with  our  early  Song, 
And  welcome  thee,  and  wish  thee  long." 

In  the  old  Calendar  of  the  Romish  Church  so  often  referred  to  in  this  work, 
I  find  the  following  observation  on  the  30th  of  April : 

"  The  boys  go  out  and  seek  May  trees f." 

This  receives  illustration  from  an  Order  in  a  Manuscript  in  the  British 
Museum,  which  has  been  already  quoted  more  than  once,  intitled,  "The  State 
of  Eton  School,  A.  D.  1560s,"  wherein  it  is  stated,  that,  on  the  day  of  St. 


such  preparations  for  merry  meetings,  that  divers  durty  sluts  shall  bestow  more  in  stuffe,  lace, 
and  making  up  of  a  gowne  and  a  peticote,  then  their  two  yeares  wages  come  to,  besides  the  be- 
nefits of  candles'  ends  and  kitchen  stuffe." 

In  "Whimzies  :  or  a  true  Cast  of  Characters,"  12mo.  Lond.  1631,  p.  132,  speaking  of  a  Ruf- 
fian, the  author  says  :  "  His^  sovereignty  is  showne  highest  at  May-games,  Wakes,  Summerings, 
and  Rush-bearings." 

f  "  Mail  Arbores  &  pueris  exquiruntur." 

B  "  Status  Scholae  Etonensis,  A.  D.  1560,"  MS.  Brit.  Mus.  Donat.  4843.  "  Mense  Maio.  In  die 
Philippi  et  Jacobi,  si  lubeat  preceptor!  et  si  sudumj&jerit,  surgant  qui  volunt  circiter  4tam  ad  col- 
ligendps  ramos  Maios,  modo  non  sit  madefactis  pedibus  :  et  turn  ornant  Fenestras  Cubiculi  fron- 
dibus  virentibus,  redolentque  domus  fragrantibus  herbis." 


MAY    DAY    CUSTOMS.  183 

Philip  and  St.  James,  if  it  be  fair  weather,  and  the  Master  grants  leave,  those 
boys  who  choose  it  may  rise  at  four  o'clock  to  gather  May  branches,  if  they  can 
do  it  without  wetting  their  feet :  and  that  on  that  day  they  adorn  the  windows  of 
the  bed-chamber  with  green  leaves,  and  the  houses  are  perfumed  with  fragrant 
herbs. 

Misson,  in  his  Travels  in  England,  translated  by  Ozell,  p.  307,  says :  "  On 
the  first  of  May,  and  the  five  and  six  days  following,  all  the  pretty  young  coun- 
try girls  that  serve  the  town  with  milk,  dress  themselves  up  very  neatly,  and 
borrow  abundance  of  silver  plate,  whereof  they  make  a  pyramid,  which  they 
adorn  with  ribbands  and  flowers,  and  carry  upon  their  heads,  instead  of  their 
common  milk-pails.  In  this  equipage,  accompanied  by  some  of  their  fellow 
milk-maids  and  a  bagpipe  or  fiddle,  they  go  from  door  to  door,  dancing  before 
the  houses  of  their  customers,  in  the  midst  of  boys  and  girls  that  follow  them 
in  troops,  and  every  body  gives  them  something." 

In  the  Dedication  to  Col.  Martin's  familiar  Epistles,  £c.  4to.  Lond.  1685, 
we  have  the  following  allusion  to  this  custom : 

"  What's  a  May-day-milking-pail  without  a  garland  and  fiddle  ?" 

"The  Mayings,"  says  Mr.  Strutt,  "are  in  some  sort  yet  kept  up  by  the 
milk-maids  at  London,  who  go  about  the  streets  with  their  garlands  and  musick, 
dancing  :  but  this  tracing  is  a  very  imperfect  shadow  of  the  original  sports ;  for 
May-poles  were  set  up  in  the  streets,  with  various  martial  shows,  morris-dan- 
cing and  other  devices,  with  which,  and  revelling,  and  good  chear,  the  day  was 
passed  away.  At  night  they  rejoiced,  and  lighted  up  their  bonfiresh." 

h  Manners  and  Customs,  vol.  II.  p.  99.  In  Scot's  "  Discovery  of  Witchcraft,"  p.  152,  he  tells 
us  of  an  old  superstition  :  "  To  be  delivered  from  witches,  they  hang  in  their  entries  (among  other 
things)  hay-thorn,  otherwise  white-thorn,  gathered  on  May  Day."  The  following  Divination  on 
May  Day  is  preserved  in  Gay's  Shepherd's  Week,  4th  Pastoral : 

"  Last  May  Day  fair,  I  search'd  to  find  a  snail 

That  might  my  secret  lover's  name  reveaj.4 

Upon  a  gooseberry-bush  a  snail  I  found, 

For  always  snails  near  sweetest  fruit  abound. 

I  seiz'd  the  vermine ;  home  I  quickly  sped, 

And  on  the  hearth-  the  milk-white  embers  spread : 

Slow  crawl'd  the  snail,  and,  if  I  right  can  spell, 

In  the  soft  ashes  mark'd  a  curious  L : 


184  MAY    DAY    CUSTOMS. 

These  May  Customs  are  not  yet  quite  forgotten  in  London  and  its  vicinity. 

In  the  Morning  Post,  Monday,  May  2d,  1791,  it  was  mentioned,  "that 
yesterday,  being  the  first  of  May,  according  to  annual  and  superstitious  cus- 
tom, a  number  of  persons  went  into  the  fields  and  bathed  their  faces  w  itn  the 
dew  on  the  grass,  under  the  idea  that  it  would  render  them  beautiful."  1  re- 
member, too,  that  in  walking  that  same  morning  between  Hounslow  and 
Brentford,  I  was  met  by  two  distinct  parties  of  girls  with  garlands  of  flowers, 
who  begged  money  of  me,  saying,  "  Pray,  Sir,  remember  the  Garland." 

The  young  chimney-sweepers,  some  of  whom  are  fantastically  dressed  in 
girls'  clothes,  with  a  great  profusion  of  brick-dust  by  way  of  paint,  gilt  paper, 
&c.  making  a  noise  with  their  shovels  and  brushes,  are  now  the  most  striking 
objects  in  the  celebration  of  May  Day  in  the  streets  of  London1. 

Oh,  may  this  wondrous  omen  lucky  prove ! 

For  L  is  found  in  Lubberkin  and  Love." 

*  I  have  more  than  once  been  disturbed  early  on  May  morning  at  Newcastle-upon-Tyne,  by 
the  noise  of  a  song,  which  a  woman  sung  about  the  streets  who  had  several  garlands  in  her  hands, 
and  which,  if  I  mistook  not,  she  sold  to  any  that  were  superstitious  enough  to  buy  them.  It  is 
homely  and  low,  but  it  must  be  remembered  that  our  Treatise  is  not  on  the  sublime : 

"  Rise  up,  maidens  !  fy  for  shame  ! 
For  I've  been  four  lang  miles  from  hame: 
I've  been  gathering  my  garlands  gay  : 
Rise  up,  fair  maids,  and  take  in  your  May." 

Here  is  no  pleonasm.  It  is  simply,  as  the  French  have  it,  your  May.  In  a  Royal  Household 
Account,  communicated  by  Craven  On),  esq.  of  the  Exchequer,  I  find  the  following  article: 
"July  7,  7  Hen.  VII.  Item,  to  the  Maydens  of  Lambeth  for  a  May,  lOsh."  So,  among  "  Receipts 
and  Disbursements  of  the  Canons  of  the  Priory  of  St.  Mary,  in  Huntingdon,"  in  Mr.  Nichols's 
"Illustrations  of  the  Manners  and  Expences  of  Ancient  Times  in  England,"  4to.  Lond.  1797, 
p.  294,  we  have  :  "  Item,  gyven  to  the  Wyves  of  Herford  to  the  niakyng  of  there  May,  12d." 

The  following  shews  a  custom  of  making  fools  on  the  first  of  May,  like  that  on  the  first  of 
April:  "  U.  P.  K.  spells  May  Goslings,"  is  an  expression  used  by  boys  at  play,  as  an  insult  to  the 
losing  party.  U.  P.  K.  is  "  up  pick,"  that  is,  up  with  your  pin  or  peg,  the  mark  of  the  goal. 
An  additional  punishment  was  thus ;  the  winner  made  a  hole  in  the  ground,  with  his  heel,  into 
which  a  peg  about  three  inches  long  was  driven,  its  top  being  below  the  surface ;  the  loser,  with 
his  hands  tied  behind  him,  was  to  pull  it  up  with  his  teeth,  the  boys  buffeting  with  their  hats, 
and  calling  out,  "  Up  pick,  you  May  Gosling,"  or  "  U.  P.  K.  Gosling  in  May."  A  May  Gosling,  on 
the  first  of  May,  is  made  with  as  much  eagerness,  in  the  North  of  England,  as  an  April  Noddy, 
(Noodle,)  or  Fool,  on  the  first  of  April."  Gent.  Mag.  for  April  1791,  p.  327. 


MAY    DAY    CUSTOMS.  185 

In  "The  Laws  of  the  Market,  printed  by  Andrew  Clark,  printer  to  the 
Hon'"le  City  of  London,"  12mo.  1677,  under  "The  Statutes  of  the  Streets  of 
this  City  against  Noysances,"  29.  I  find  the  following :  "  No  man  shall  go  in 
the  streets  by  night  or  by  day  with  bow  bent,  or  arrows  under  his  girdle,  nor 
with  sword  unscabbar'd,  under  pain  of  imprisonment ;  or  with  hand-gun,  having 
therewith  powder  and  match,  except  it  be  in  a  usual  May-game  or  Sight*." 


To  May  Day  sports  may  be  referred  the  singular  bequest  of  Sir  Dudley  Diggs,  knt.  (mentioned 
in  Hasted's  Kent,  vol.  ii.  p.  787  )  who  by  his  last  will,  dated  in  1638,  left  the  sum  of  ^20.  to 
be  paid  yearly  to  two  young  men  and  two  maids,  who,  on  May  19th,  yearly,  should  run  a  tye,  at 
Old  Wives  Lees  in  Chilham,  and  prevail ;  the  money  to  be  paid  out  of  the  profits  of  the  land  of  this 
part  of  the  manor  of  Selgrave,  which  escheated  to  him  after  the  death  of  Lady  Clive.  These 
lands,  being  in  three  pieces,  lie  in  the  parishes  of  Preston  and  Faversham,  and  contain  about 
forty  acres,  and  all  commonly  called  the  Running  Lands.  Two  young  men  and  two  young  maids 
run  at  Old  Wives  Lees  in  Chilham,  yearly  on  May  1st,  and  the  same  number  at  Sheldwich  Lees 
on  the  Monday  following,  by  way  of  trial,  and  the  two  which  prevail  at  each  of  those  places  run 
for  the  ^10.  at  Old  Wives  Lees,  as  abovementioned,  on  May  19."  A  great  concourse  of  the 
neighbouring  gentry  and  inhabitants  constantly  assemble  there  on  this  occasion. 

"There  was,  till  of  late  years,"  says  the  same  writer,  (Hist,  of  Kent,  vol.  ii.  p.  284.)  "a  singu- 
lar, though  a  very  ancient  custom,  kept  up,  of  electing  a  Deputy  to  the  Dumb  Borsholder  of 
Chart,  as  it  was  called,  claiming  liberty  over  fifteen  houses  in  the  precinct  of  Pizein-well ;  every 
householder  of  which  was  formerly  obliged  to  pay  the  keeper  of  this  Borsholder  one  penny  yearly. 

"  This  Dumb  Borsholder  was  always  first  called  at  the  Court- Leet  holden  for  the  hundred  of 
Twyford,  when  its  keeper,  who  was  yearly  appointed  by  that  Court,  held  it  up  to  his  call,  with  a 
neckcloth  or  handkerchief  put  through  the  iron  ring  fixed  at  the  top,  and  answered  for  it.  This 
Borsholder  of  Chart,  and  the  Court  Leet,  has  been  discontinued  about  fifty  years:  and  the 
Borsholder,  who  is  put  in  by  the  Quarter  Sessions  for  Watringbury,  claims  over  the  whole  parish. 
This  dumb  Borsholder  is  made  of  wood,  about  three  feet  and  half  an  inch  long,  with  an  iron  ring 
at  the  top,  and  four  more  by  the  sides,  near  the  bottom,  where  it  has  a  square  iron  spike  fixed, 
four  inches  and  a  half  long,  to  fix  it  in  the  ground,  or,  on  occasion,  to  break  open  doors,  &c. 
which  used  to  be  done,  without  a  warrant  of  any  Justice,  on  suspicion  of  goods  having  been  un- 
lawfully come  by  and  concealed  in  any  of  these  fifteen  houses."  (He  subjoins  an  engraving  of  it.) 
"  It  is  not  easy,"  Mr.  Hasted  adds,  "  at  this  distance  of  time,  to  ascertain  the  origin  of  this  dumb 
officer.  Perhaps  it  might,  have  been  made  use  of  as  a  badge  or  ensign  by  the  office  of  the  market 
here.  The  last  person  who  acted  as  deputy  to  it,  was  one  Thomas  Clampard,  a  blacksmith,  whose 
heirs  have  it  now  in  their  possession." 

k  By  the  subsequent,  No.  43,  it  should  seem  that  London  had  then  some  of  those  disgraceful 
customs  which  have  been  so  much  complained  of,  even  recently,  in  Edinburgh,  Madrid,  &c.  "  No 
man  shall  cast  any  urine-boles  or  ordure-boles  into  the  streets  by  day  or  night,  afore  the.hour  of 

VOL.    I.  B  B 


186  MAY  DAY  CUSTOMS. 

Browne,  in  his  "  Britannia's  Pastorals,"  8vo,  Lond.  1625,  B.  ii.  p.  122,  thus 
describes  some  of  the  May  revellings : 

"  As  I  have  seene  the  LADY  of  the  MAY' 

Set  in  an  arbour  (on  a  Holy-day) 

Built  by  the  May-pole,  where  the  jocund  swaines 

Dance  with  the  maidens  to  the  bagpipes  straines, 

When  envious  Night  commands  them  to  be  gone, 

Call  for  the  merry  youngsters  one  by  one, 

And,  for  their  well  performance,  soone  disposes, 

To  this  a  garland  interwove  with  roses  ; 

To  that  a  carved  hooke  or  well-wrought  scrip ; 

Gracing  another  with  her  cherry  lip  ; 

To  one  her  garter ;  to  another  then 

A  hand-kerchiefe  cast  o'er  and  o'er  agen  : 

And  none  returneth  emptie  that  hath  spent 

His  paines  to  fill  their  rurall  meriment. 

So,  &c." 

Hutchinson,  in  his  History  of  Northumberland  (vol.  ii.  p.  14,  adjinem),  tells 
us,  that  a  syllabub  is  prepared  for  the  May  Feast,  which  is  made  of  warm  milk 


nine  in  the  night :  and  also  he  shall  not  cast  it  out,  but  bring  it  down  and  lay  it  in  the  ehanel, 
under  the  pein  of  3s.  4d. ;  and  if  he  do  cast  it  upon  any  person's  head,  the  party  to  have  a  lawful 
recompence,  if  he  have  hurt  thereby."  No.  22  and  No.  23  are  worth  citing  :  "  No  man  shall  blow 
any  horn  in  the  night  within  this  city,  or  whistle  after  the  hour  of  nine  of  the  clock  in  the  night, 
under  pein  of  imprisonment :" — "  No  man  shall  use  to  go  with  vizards,  or  disguised  by  night, 
under  like  pein  of  imprisonment :"  as  are  14  and  16  :  "  No  Goung-Farmer  shall  carry  any  ordure 
till  after  nine  of  the  clock  in  the  night,  under  pein  of  13s.  4d."  "  No  man  shall  bait  any  bull, 
bear,  or  horse,  in  the  open  street,  under  pein  of  20s."  I  do  not  understand  the  following,  No.  J. 
"  No  budge-man  shall  lead  but  two  horses,  and  he  shall  not  let  them  go  unled,  under  pein  of  2*." 
1  Audley,  in  "A  Companion  to  the  Almanack,  &c."  12mo,  Cambr.  1802,  p.  21.  May  Day.  says: 
"  Some  derive  May  from  Maia,  the  mother  of  Mercury,  to  whom  they  offered  sacrifices  on  the  first 
day  of  it ;  and  this  seems  to  explain  the  custom  which  prevails  on  this  day  where  the  writer  re- 
sides (Cambridge),  of  children  having  a  figure  dressed  in  a  grotesque  manner,  called  a  May  Lady, 
before  which  they  set  a  table,  having  on  it  wine,  &c.  They  also  beg  money  of  passengers,  which 
is  considered  as  an  offering  to  the  manikin;  for  their  plea  to  obtain  it  is,  "  Pray  remember  the  poor 
May  Lady."  Perhaps  the  Garlands,  for  which  they  also  beg,  originally  adorned  the  head  of  the 
goddess.  The  bush  of  Hawthorn,  or,  as  it  is  called,  May,  placed  at  the  doors  on  this  day,  may  point 
out  the  first  fruits  of  the  Spring,  as  this  is  one  of  the  earliest  trees  which  blossoms." 


MAY  DAY  CUSTOMS.  187 

from  the  cow,  sweet  cake  and  wine :  and  a  kind  of  divination  is  practised,  by 
Jishing  with  a  ladle  for  a  wedding  ring,  which  is  dropped  into  it,  for  the  pur- 
pose of  prognosticating  who  shall  be  first  married." 

Mr.  Toilet,  in  the  description  of  his  famous  window,  of  which  more  will  be 
said  hereafter,  tells  us :  "  Better  judges  may  decide  that  the  institution  of  this 
festival  originated  from  the  Roman  Floralia,  or  from  the  Celtic  La  Beltine, 
while  I  conceive  it  derived  to  us  from  our  Gothic  ancestors."  Olaus  Magnus  de 
Gentibus  Septentrionalibus,  Lib.  xv.  c.  8,  says  :  "  that  after  their  long  winter 
from  the  beginning  of  October  to  the  end  of  April,  the  Northern  nations  have  a 
custom  to  welcome  the  returning  splendour  of  the  sun  with  dancing,  and  mu- 
tually to  feast  each  other,  rejoicing  that  a  better  season  for  fishing  and  hunting 
was  approached."  In  honour  of  May  Day  the  Goths  and  Southern  Swedes  had 
a  mock  battle  between  Summer  and  Winter,  which  ceremony  is  retained  in  the 
Isle  of  Man,  where  the  Danes  and  Norwegians  had  been  for  a  long  time  masters. 

Mr.  Borlase,  in  his  curious  Account  of  the  Manners  of  Cornwall,  speaking 
of  the  May  Customs,  says :  This  usage  "  is  nothing  more  than  a  gratulation 
of  the  Spring;"  and  every  house  exhibited  a  proper  signal  of  its  approach,  "  to 
testify  their  universal  joy  at  the  revival  of  vegetation  m." 


m  He  says  :  "  An  antient  custom  still  retained  by  the  Cornish  is,  that  of  decking  their  doors  and 
porches  on  the  first  day  of  May  with  green  boughs  of  sycamore  and  hawthorn,  and  of  planting 
trees,  or  rather  stumps  of  trees,  before  their  houses." 

In  the  Gentleman's  Magazine,  vol.  xxiv.  for  1754,  p.  354  (Life  of  Mrs.  Pilkington),  a  custom  is 
alluded  to,  yet,  1  believe,  not  entirely  obsolete.  The  writer  says,  "  They  took  places  in  the  waggon, 
and  quitted  London  early  on  May  morning ;  and  it  being  the  custom  in  this  month  for  the  pas- 
sengers to  giveJthe  waggoner  at  every  inn  a  ribbon  to  adorn  his  team,  she  soon  discovered  the  origin 
of  the  proverb,  '•'  as  fine  as  a  horse ;"  for,  before  they  got  to  the  end  of  their  journey,  the  poor 
beasts  were  almost  blinded  by  the  tawdry  party-coloured  flowing  honours  of  their  heads." 

Another  writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  for  June  1790,  vol.  Ix.  p.  520,  says :  "  At  Hel- 
stone,  a  genteel  and  populous  borough-town  in  Cornwall,  it  is  customary  to  dedicate  the  eighth  of 
May  to  revelry  (festive  mirth,  not  loose  jollity).  It  is  called  the  Furry  Day,  supposed  Flora's  Day ; 
not  I  imagine,  as  many  have  thought,  in  remembrance  of  some  festival  instituted  in  honour  of  that 
goddess,  but  rather  from  the  garlands  commonly  worn  on  that  day.  In  the  morning,  very  early, 
troublesome  rogues  go  round  the  streets  with  drums,  or  other  noisy  instruments,  disturbing 


188  -MAY  DAY  CUSTOMS. 

In  Sir  John  Sinclair's  Statistical  Account  of  Scotland,  vol.  xi.  8vo,  Edinb.  1794, 
p.  620,  the  minister  of  Callander  in  Perthshire,  speaking  of  "  Peculiar  Cus- 
toms," says :  "  The  people  of  this  district  have  two  customs,  which  are  fast 
wearing  out,  not  only  here,  but  all  over  the  Highlands,  and  therefore  ought  to 
be  taken  notice  of  while  they  remain.  Upon  the  first  day  of  May,  which  is  called 
Beltan  or  Bal-tein-da.y,  all  the  boys  in  a  township  or  hamlet  meet  in  the  moors. 
They  cut  a  table  in  the  green  sod,  of  a  round  figure,  by  casting  a  trench  in  the 
ground  of  such  circumference  as  to  hold  the  whole  company.  They  kindle  a 
fire,  and  dress  a  repast  of  eggs  and  milk  in  the  consistence  of  a  custard.  They 
knead  a  cake  of  oatmeal,  which  is  toasted  at  the  embers  against  a  stone.  After 

their  sober  neighbours,  and  singing  parts  of  a  song,  the  whole  of  which  nobody  now  recollects, 
and  of  which  I  know  no  more  than  that  there  is  mention  in  it  of  "  the  grey  goose  quill,"  and  of 
going  to  the  green  wood  to  bring  home  "  the  Summer  and  the  May-o."     And,  accordingly,  haw- 
thorn flowering  branches  are  worn  in  hats.     The  commonalty  make  it  a  general  holiday ;  and  if 
they  find  any  person  at  work,  make  him  ride  on  a  pole,  carried  on  men's  shoulders,  to  the  river, 
over  which  he  is  to  leap  in  a  wide  place,  if  he  can ;  if  he  cannot,  he  must  leap  in,  for  leap  he 
must,  or  pay  money.     About  9  o'clock  they  appear  before  the  school,  and  demand  holiday  for  the 
Latin  boys,  which  is  invariably  granted ;  after  which  they  collect  money  from  house  to  house. 
About  the  middle  of  the  day  they  collect  together,  to  dance  hand-in-hand  round  the  streets,  to  the 
sound  of  the  fiddle,  playing  a  particular  tune,  which  they  continue  to  do  till  it  is  dark.     This 
they  call  a  "  Faddy."  In  the  afternoon,  the  gentility  go  to  some  farm-house  in  the  neighbourhood, 
to  drink  tea,  syllabub,  &c.  and  return  in  a  Morrice  dance  to  the  town,  where  they  form  a  Faddy, 
and  dance  through  the  streets  till  it  is  dark,  claiming  a  right  of  going  through  any  person's  house, 
in  at  one  door,  and  out  at  the  other.     And  here  it  formerly  used  to  end,  and  the  company  of  all 
kinds  to  disperse  quietly  to  their  several  habitations ;  but  latterly  corruptions  have  in  this  as  in 
other  matters  crept  in  by  degrees.     The  ladies, — all  elegantly  dressed  in  white  muslins,  are  now 
conducted  by  their  partners  to  the  ball-room,  where  they  continue  their  dance  till  supper  time  j 
after  which  they  all  faddy  it  out  of  the  house,  breaking  off  by  degrees  to  their  respective  houses. 
The  mobility  imitate  their  superiors,  and  also  adjourn  to  the  several  public  houses,  where  they 
continue  their  dance  till  midnight.     It  is,  upon  the  whole,  a  very  festive,  jovial,  and  withall  so 
sober,  and  I  believe  singular  custom :  and  any  attempt  to  search  out  the  original  of  it,  inserted 
in  one  of  your  future  Magazines,  will  very  much  please  and  gratify    DURGAN." 

The  month  of  May  is  generally  considered  as  an  unlucky  time  for  the  celebration  of  marriage. 
This  is  an  idea  which  has  been  transmitted  to  us  by  our  popish  ancestors,  and  was  borrowed  by 
them  from  the  antients.  Thus  Ovid,  in  his  Fasti,  lib.  v. 

"  Nee  viduae  taedis  eadem,  nee  virginis  apta 

Tempora.    Quas  nupsit,  non  diuturna  fuit. 
Hac  quoque  de  causa,  (si  te  proverbia  tangunt) 
Mense  malar-  Maio  nubere  vulgus  ait;'1 


MAY  DAY  CUSTOMS.  189 

the  custard  is  eaten  up,  they  divide  the  cake  into  so  many  portions,  as  similar 
as  possible  to  one  another  in  size  and  shape,  as  there  are  persons  in  the  com- 
pany. They  daub  one  of  these  portions  all  over  with  charcoal,  until  it  be  per- 
fectly black.  They  put  all  the  bits  of  the  cake  into  a  bonnet.  Every  one, 
blindfold,  draws  out  a  portion.  He  who  holds  the  bonnet  is  entitled  to  the 
last  bit.  Whoever  draws  the  black  bit  is  the  devoted  person  who  is  to  be 
sacrificed  to  Baaln,  whose  favour  they  mean  to  implore,  in  rendering  the  year 
productive  of  the  sustenance  of  man  and  beast.  There  is  little  doubt  of  these 
inhuman  sacrifices  having  been  once  offered  in  this  country  as  well  as  in  the 
East,  although  they  now  pass  from  the  act  of  sacrificing,  and  only  compel  the 
devoted  person  to  leap  three  times  through  the  flames ;  with  which  the  cere- 
monies of  this  festival  are  closed."  The  other  custom,  supposed  to  have  a 
similar  mystical  allusion,  will  be  found  under  ALLHALLOW  EVEN. 

In  the  same  work,  vol.  v.  p.  84,  the  Minister  of  Logierait,  in  Perthshire, 
says :  "  On  the  first  of  May,  O.  S.  a  festival  called  Beltan  is  annually  held 
here.  It  is  chiefly  celebrated  by  the  Cowherds,  who  assemble  by  scores  in  the 
fields  to  dress  a  dinner  for  themselves,  of  boiled  milk  and  eggs.  These  dishes 
they  eat  with  a  sort  of  cakes  baked  for  the  occasion,  and  having  small  lumps, 
in  the  form  of  nipples,  raised  all  over  the  surface.  The  cake  might,  perhaps, 
be  an  offering  to  some  Deity  in  the  days  of  Druidism." 

Mr.  Pennant's  account  of  this  rural  sacrifice  is  more  minute.  He  tells  us 
that,  on  the  first  of  May,  in  the  Highlands  of  Scotland,  the  Herdsmen  of  every 
village  hold  their  Bel-tein.  "  They  cut  a  square  trench  in  the  ground,  leaving 
the  turf  in  the  middle  ;  on  that  they  make  a  fire  of  wood,  on  which  they  dress 


"  "  Bal-tein  signifies  the  Fire  of  Baal.  Baal  or  Ball  is  the  only  word  in  Gaelic  for  a  globe. 
This  festival  was  probably  in  honour  of  the  sun,  whose  return,  in  his  apparent  annual  course,  they 
celebrated,  on  account  of  his  having  such  a  visible  influence  by  his  genial  warmth  on  the  produc- 
tions of  the  earth.  That  the  Caledonians  paid  a  superstitious  respect  to  the  sun,  as  was  the  prac- 
tice among  many  other  nations,  is  evident,  not  only  by  the  sacrifice  at  Baltein,  but  upon  many 
other  occasions.  When  a  Highlander  goes  to  bathe,  or  to  drink  waters  out  of  a  consecrated  foun- 
tain, he  must  always  approach  by  going  round  the  place  from  East  to  West  on  the  South  side,  in 
imitation  of  the  apparent  diurnal  motion  of  the  sun.  This  is  called  in  Gaelic  going  round  the 
right,  or  the  lucky  way.  The  opposite  course  is  the  wrong,  or  the  unlucky  way.  And  if  a  person's 
meat  or  drink  were  to  affect  the  wind-pipe,  or  come  against  his  breath,  they  instantly  cry  out 
deisheal !  which  is  an  ejaculation,  praying  that  it  may  go  by  the  right  way." 


190  MAT    DAY    CUSTOMS. 

a  large  caudle  of  eggs,  butter,  oatmeal,  and  milk,  and  bring,  besides  the  in- 
gredients of  the  caudle,  plenty  of  beer  and  whiskey  :  for  each  of  the  company 
must  contribute  something.  The  rites  begin  with  spilling  some  of  the  caudle  on 
the  ground,  by  way  of  libation :  on  that,  every  one  takes  a  cake  of  oatmeal, 
upon  which  are  raised  nine  square  knobs,  each  dedicated  to  some  particular 
being,  the  supposed  preserver  of  their  flocks  and  herds,  or  to  some  particular 
animal,  the  real  destroyer  of  them.  Each  person  then  turns  his  face  to  the  fire, 
breaks  oft'  a  knob,  and,  flinging  it  over  his  shoulders,  says:  '  This  I  give  to 
thee,  preserve  thou  my  horses;'  '  This  to  thee,  preserve  thou  my  sheep;  and 
so  on.  After  that,  they  use  the  same  ceremony  to  the  noxious  animals.  '  This 
I  give  to  thee,  O  fox!  spare  thou  my  lambs?  c  this  to  thee,  O  hooded  crow;' 
'this  to  thee,  eagle  T  When  the  ceremony  is  over,  they  dine  on  the  caudle; 
and,  after  the  feast  is  finished,  what  is  left  is  hid  by  two  persons  deputed  for 
that  purpose ;  but  on  the  next  Sunday  they  re-assemble,  and  finish  the  reliques 
of  the  first  entertainment."  (Tour  in  Scotland,  8vo.  Chester,  1771,  p-  90.) 

1  found  the  following  note  in  p.  14-9  of  "  The  Muses'  Threnodie,"  Svo.  Perth, 
1774:  "We  read  of  a  cave  called  'The  Dragon  Hole,'  in  a  steep  rock  on  the 
face  of  Kinnoul  Hill,  of  very  difficult  and  dangerous  access.  On  the  first  day 
of  May,  during  the  aera  of  Popery,  a  great  concourse  of  people  assembled  at 
that  place  to  celebrate  superstitious  games,  now  (adds  the  writer)  unknown  to 
us,  which  the  Reformers  prohibited  under  heavy  censures  and  severe  penalties, 
of  which  we  are  informed  from  the  ancient  records  of  the  Kirk  Session  of 
Perth0." 

Martin,  in  his  Account  of  the  Western  Islands  of  Scotland,  (edit.  1716,  p.  7-) 
speaking  of  the  Isle  of  Lewis,  says,  that  "the  natives  in  the  village  Barvas 
retain  an  antient  custom  of  sending  a  man  very  early  to  cross  Barvas  river, 
every  first  day  of  May,  to  prevent  any  females  crossing  it  first ;  for  that,  they 
say,  would  hinder  the  salmon  from  coming  into  the  river  all  the  year  round. 
They  pretend  to  have  learn 'd  this  from  a  foreign  sailor,  who  was  ship-wreck'd 
upon  that  coast  a  long  time  ago.  This  observation  they  maintain  to  be  true, 
from  experience. 


Sir  Henry  Piers,  in  his  Description  of  Westmeath,    1682,  tells  us  that  the 
0  See  also  Sir  John  Sinclair's  Statistical  Account  of  Scotland,  vol.  xviii.  p,  560. 


MAT    DAY    CUSTOMS.  191 

Irish  "  have  a  custom  every  May  Day,  which  they  count  their  first  day  of  sum- 
mer, to  have  to  their  meal  one  formal  dish,  whatever  else  they  have,  which 
some  call  stir-about,  or  hasty-pudding,  that  is,  flour  and  rnilk  boiled  thick; 
and  this  is  holden  as  an  argument  of  the  good  wive's  good  huswifery,  that  made 
her  corn  hold  out  so  well  as  to  have  such  a  dish  to  begin  summer  fare  with;  for 
if  they  can  hold  out  so  long  with  bread,  they  count  they  can  do  well  enough  for 
\vhat  remains  of  the  year  till  harvest;  for  then  milk  becomes  plenty,  and  butter, 
new  cheese  and  curds  and  shamrocks,  are  the  food  of  the  meaner  sort  all  this 
season.  Nevertheless,  in  this  mess,  on  this  day,  they  are  so  formal,  that  even 
in  the  plentiiullest  and  greatest  houses,  where  bread  is  in  abundance  all  the 
year  long,  they  will  not  fail  of  this  dish,  nor  yet  they  that  for  a  month  before 
wanted  bread  P." 

Cainden,  in  his  "Antient  and  Modern  Manners  of  the  Irish,"  says:  "They 
fancy  a  green  bough  of  a  tree,  fastened  on  May  Day  against  the  house,  will 
produce  plenty  of  milk  that  summer'." 

General  Vallancey,  in  his  "  Essay  on  the  Antiquity  of  the  Irish  Language," 
8vo.  Dubl.  1772,  p.  19,  speaking  of  the  first  of  May,  says  :  "  On  that  day  the 
Druids  drove  all  the  cattle  through  the  fires,  to  preserve  them  from  disorders 
the  ensuing  year.  This  pagan  custom  is  still  observed  in  Munster  and  Con- 
naught,  where  the  meanest  cottager  worth  a  cow  and  a  wisp  of  straw  practises 
the  same  on  the  first  day  of  May,  and  with  the  same  superstitious  ideas r." 


[Aubrey,  in  his  "  Remains  of  Gentilisme,"  MS.  Lansd.  226,  informs  us  that 
"'Tis  commonly  sayd  in  Germany  that  the  witches  do  meet  in  the  night  before 


f  Vallancey's  Collectanea  de  Rebus  Hibernicis,  No.  1.  p.  121,  8vo.  Dubl.  1770. 

*  Cough's  Cau'den,  fol.  Lond.  17SJ,  vol.  iii.  p.  659  [properly,  6'(>7].  Du  Chesne,  in  his  History 
of  England,  p.  18,  mentions  the  same  circumstance.  "  II  tiennent  pour  Sorciere  la  premiere 
femme  qui  leur  demande  du  feu  le  premier  jour  de  May  :  tuent  ce  jour  mesme  un  lievre  au  milieu 
de  leurs  troupeaux,  pour  empescher  qu'on  ne  derobe  leur  beurre ;  et  mettant  encore  a  pareil 
jour  des  rameux  ver<is  a  leurs  portes,  a  fin  que  le  laict  abonde  a  leur  bestiail  tout  le  long  de  1'Estd." 
See  also  "  Memorable  Things  noted  in  the  Description  of  the  World,"  p.  112. 

'  In  the  "  Survey  of  the  South  of  Ireland,"  p.  233,  we  read  something  similar  to  what  has  been 
already  quoted  in  a  note  from  the  Statistical  Account  of  Scotland.  "  The  sun/y  (says  the  writer,) 
"  was  propitiated  here  by  sacrifices  of  fire :  one  was  on  the  first  of  May,  for  a  blessing  on  the  seed. 
>  f  • 


192  MAT   DAT   CUSTOMS. 

the  first  day  of  May,  upon  an  high  mountain,  called  the  Blocks-berg,  situated 
in  Ascanien,"  (Hercynia,  the  Hartz-forest)  "  where  they,  together  with  the  devils, 
doe  dance  and  feast;  and  the  common  people  doe,  the  night  before  the  said 
day,  fetch  a  certain  thorn,  and  stick  it  at  their  house-door,  believing  the  witches 
can  then  doe  them  no  harm."] 


Bourne  cites  Polydore  Vergil  as  telling  us  that,  among  the  Italians,  the  youth, 
of  both  sexes,  were  accustomed  to  go  into  the  fields  on  the  Calends  of  May, 
and  bring  thence  the  branches  of  trees,  singing  all  the  way  as  they  came,  and 
so  place  them  on  the  doors  of  their  houses. 

This,  he  observes,  is  the  relick  of  an  ancient  custom  among  the  Heathens, 
who  observed  the  four  last  days  of  April,  and  the  first  of  May,  in  honour  of 
the  Goddess  Flora,  who  was  imagined  the  deity  presiding  over  the  fruit  and 
flowers :  a  festival  that  was  observed  with  all  manner  of  obscenity  and 
lewdness*. 


sown.  The  first  of  May  is  called,  in  the  Irish  language,  La  Beal-tine,  that  is,  the  day  of  Deal's 
fire.  Vossius  says  it  is  well  known  that  Apollo  was  called  Belinus,  and  for  this  he  quotes  Hero- 
dian,  and  an  inscription  at  Aquileia,  Apollini  Belino.  The  Gods  of  Tyre  were  Baal,  Ashtaroth, 
and  all  the  Host  of  Heaven,  as  we  learn  from  the  frequent  rebukes  given  to  the  backsliding  Jews 
for  following  after  Sidonian  idols :  and  the  Phenician  Baal,  or  Baalam,  like  the  Irish  Beal,  or 
Bealin,  denotes  the  sun,  as  Asturoth  does  the  moon." 

'  Antiq.  Vulg.  ch.  xxv. — "  Est  item  consuetudinis  ut  juventus  promiscui  sexus  laetabunda  cal. 
Maii  exeat  in  agros,  et  cantillans  inde  virides  reportet  arborum  ramos,  eosque  ante  domorum 
fores  ponat — prsesertim  apud  Italos.  Haec  vel  a  Romanis  mutuo  sumpta  videntur,  apud  quos  sic 
Flora  cunctorum  fructuum  dea  mense  Maio,  lascive  colebatur,  sicut  supra  diximus,  vel  ab  Athe- 
niensibus  sunt,  quod  illi  in  fame  in  templo  Delphico  "•jKriavnv,  id  est,  iresionem  ponebant,  hoc  est 
ramum  olivae,  sive  lauri  plenum  variis  fructibus."  Polyd.  Verg.  de  Rer.  Invent.  1.  v.  c.  ii.  fol.  Bas. 
1525,  p.  145. 

So  Hospinian  de  Festis  Judaeor.  &  Ethnicor.  fol.  100.  "  Celebrabantur  autem  has  Feriae  atque 
Ludi,  Lactantio  teste,  cum  omni  lascivia  verbis  et  moribus  pudendis,  ad  placandam  Deam,  qua? 
floribus  et  fructibus  praeerat.  Nam  per  Tubam  convocabantur  omnis  generis  Meretrices.  Unde 
Juvenaiis,  [Sat.  vi.  1.  249.] 

'  dignissima  prorsus 

Florali  Matrons  Tuba.' 

Ese  in  thcatro  denudatae,"  &c. 


MAY    DAY    CUSTOMS.  193 

Dr.   Moresin    follows  Polydore   Vergil   in   regard   to  the  origin    of    this 
custom*. 


MAY  POLES. 

BOURNE,  speaking  of  the  first  of  May,  tells  us:  "The  after-part  of  the 
day  is  chiefly  spent  in  dancing  round  a  tall  Poll,  which  is  called  a  May  Poll ; 
which  being  placed  in  a  convenient  part  of  the  village,  stands  there,  as  it  were 
consecrated  to  the  Goddess  of  Flowers,  without  the  least  violation  offer'd  to  it, 
in  the  whole  circle  of  the  year." 

Stubs,  a  puritanical  writer  of  Queen  Elizabeth's  days,  in  continuation  of  a 
passage  already  quoted  from  his  "Anatomic  of  Abuses1,"  says:  "But  their 
cheefest  Jewell  they  bring  from  thence"  [the  woods]  "  is  their  Male  poole, 
whiche  they  bring  home  with  greatc  veneration,  as  thus.  They  have  twentie  or 
fourtie  yoke  of  oxen,  every  oxe  havyng  a  sweete  nosegaie  of  flowers  tyed  on 
the  tippe  of  his  homes,  and  these  oxen  drawe  home  this  Maie  poole,  (this 
stinckyng  Idoll  rather,)  which  is  covered  all  over  with  flowers  and  hearbes, 
bounde  rounde  aboute  with  stringes,  from  the  top  to  the  bottomo,  and  some- 
tyme  painted  with  variable  colours,  with  twoo  or  three  hundred  men,  women, 
and  children  followyng  it,  with  greate  devotion.  And  thus  beyng  reared  up, 
with  handkercheifes  and  flagges  streamyng  on  the  toppe,  they  strawe  the  grounde 
aboute,  binde  greene  boughes  about  it,  sett  up  Sommer  haules,  Bowers,  and 
Arbours  hard  by  it.  And  then  fall  they  to  banquet  and  feast,  to  leape  and 
daunce  aboute  it,  as  the  Heathen  people  did  at  the  dedication  of  their  Idollcs, 
whereof  this  is  a  perfect  patterne,  or  rather  the  thyng  itself b." 


'  "  Maio  mense  exire  in  agros  et  cantando  viridein  frondem  reportare,  quam  in  domibus  & 
domorum  foribus  appendant,  aut  a  Flora  lascivice  Romanic  dea,  aut  ab  Atheniensibus  est."  Pa- 
patus,  p.  91. 

»  See  p.  179,  note  a. 

b  In  "  Vox  Graculi,"  4to.  1623,  p.  63,  speaking  of  May,  the  author  says  :  '•'  This  day  shall  be 
erected  long  wooden  Idols,  called  May  Poles ;  whereat  many  greasie  churles  shall  murmure,  that 
VOL.  I.  C  C 


194  MAV  POLKS. 

Mr.  Tollett,  of ,  Betley,  in  Staffordshire,  in  the  account  of  his  painted 
window  printed  in  Mr.  Steevens's  Shakespeare,  at  the  end  of  the  play  of  King 
Henry  IV.  Part  I.  tell  us,  that  the  May  Pole  there  represented  "  is  painted 
yellow  and  black,  in  spiral  lines.  Spelraan's  Glossary  mentions  the  custom  of 
erecting  a  tall  May  Pole,  painted  with  various  colours0:  and  Shakespeare,  in 

will  not  bestow  so  much  as  a  faggot-sticke  towards  the  warming  of  the  poore  :  an  humour  that, 
while  it  seemes  to  smell  of  conscience,  savours  indeed  of  nothing  but  covetousnesse." 

M.  Stevenson,  in  "The  Twelve  Moneths,"  &c.  4to.  Lond.  1661,  p.  212,  says  :  "The  tall  young 
oak  is  cut  down  for  a  May  Pole,  and  the  frolick  fry  of  the  town  prevent  the  rising  sun,  and,  with 
joy  in  their  faces  and  boughs  in  their  hands,  they  march  before  it  to  the  place  of  erection." 

I  find  the  following  in  a  curious  collection  of  poetical  pieces,  entitled,  "  A  pleasant  Grove  of 
New  Fancies,"  Svo.  Lond.  1657,  p.  74  : 

"  The  May  Pole. 
"  The  May  Pole  is  up, 
Now  give  me  the  cup, 
I'  11  drink  to  the  garlands  around  it, 
But  first  unto  those 
Whose  hands  did  compose 
The  glory  of  flowers  that  crown'd  it." 

On  the  subject  of  the  May  Pole  consult  Vossius  de  Orig.  &  Prog.  Idololatrise,  lib.  ii. 

In  Northbrooke's  "Treatise  wherein  Dicing,  Dauncing,  vaine  Playes,  or  Enterluds,  with  other 
idle  Pastimes,  &c.  commonly  used  on  the  Sabboth  Day,  are  reproued."  4to.  Lond.  H.  Bynnem.  p.  14O, 
is  the  following  passage :  "  What  adoe  make  our  yong  men  at  the  time  of  May  ?  Do  they  not  use  night- 
watchings  to  rob  and  steale  yong  trees  out  of  other  mens  grounde,  and  bring  them  home  into 
their  parishe,  with  minstrels  playing  before  :  and,  when  they  have  set  it  up,  they  will  decke  it 
with  floures  and  garlandes,  and  daunce  rounde,  (men  and  women  togilher,  moste  unseemely  and 
intolerable,  as  I  have  proved  before,)  about  the  tree,  like  unto  the  children  of  Israeli  that 
daunced  about  the  golden  calfe  that  they  had  set  up,"  &c. 

Owen,  in  his  Welsh  Dictionary,  rote  BEDWEN,  a  Birch-tree,  explains  it  also  by  "  a  May  Pole, 
because  it  was  always  (he  says)  made  of  birch. — It  was  customary  to  have  games  of  various  sorts 
round  the  Bcdwen ;  but  the  chief  aim,  and  on  which  the  fame  of  the  village  depended,  was,  to 
preserve  it  from  being  stolen  away,  as  parties  from  other  places  were  continually  on  the  watch 
for  an  opportunity ;  who,  if  successful,  had  their  feats  recorded  in  songs  on  the  occasion." 

In  the  Chapel  Wardens' Accounts  of  Brentford,  under  the  year  1623,  is  the  following  article  : 
"  Received  for  the  May-pole,  egl.  4s."  Lysons's  Envir.  of  Lond.  vol.  ii.  p.  54. 

c  "  Apud  nostrates  hodie  sospitat,  cum  in  plebe  turn  in  Regis  palatio.  Solet  juventus  palum  in 
villis  erigere  eximia:  proceritatis,  tarns  pictum  coloribus,  floribusque,  fasciis,  et  teniis  adornatum  : 
celebritatis  Dominam  ceu  Reginam  eligere  quae  circa  palum  choreas  ducit.  Mane  etiam  Diei  ad 
nemora  coufluunt,  deductisque  inde  Ramis  viridibus  aedes  tarn  sacras  quam  profanas  excolunt. 


MAY    POLES.  195 

the  play  of  A  Midsummer  Night's  Dream,  Act  Hi.  sc.  2,  speaks  of  a  painted 
May  Pole.  Upon  our  Pole  (adds  Mr.  Tollett)  are  displayed  St.  George's  red 
cross,  or  the  banner  of  England,  and  a  white  penon,  or  streamer,  emblazoned 
with  a  red  cross,  terminating  like  the  blade  of  a  sword,  but  the  delineation 
thereof  is  much  fadedd."  "Keysler,"  (he  goes  on  to  observe,)  "in  p.  78 
of  his  Northern  and  Celtic  Antiquities,  gives  pens,  rhaps,  the  original  of 
May  Poles;  and  that  the  French  used  to  erect  them  appears  also  from 
Mezeray's  History  of  their  King  Henry  IV.  and  from  a  passage  in  Stow's 
Chronicle,  in  the  year  1560.  Mr.  Theobald  and  Dr.  Warburton  acquaint  us 
that  the  May  Games,  and  particularly  some  of  the  characters  in  them,  became 
exceptionable  to  the  puritanical  humour  of  former  times.  By  an  ordinance  of 
the  [Long]  Parliament,  in  April  1644,  all  May  Poles  were  taken  down,  and 
removed  by  the  constables,  churchwardens,  &c.  After  the  restoration,  they 
were  permitted  to  be  erected  again'." 


Egrediuntur  et  cum  coetu  aulico  ad  nemus  ipse  Rex  et  Regina  frondcs  atque  ramulos  referentes. 
Viguisse  sub  Edouardo  I.  consueludinem  ex  eo  constat,  quod  ab  uxore  Robert!  Breucii,  forlissimi 
coronse  Scotiae  restauratoris,  cum  apud  Anglos  captiva  teneretur,  et  de  Regno  desperaret,  dictum 
est  anno  1306,  futures  ipsos  Regem  et  Reginam  eis  similes,  qui  choreas  ducunt  circa  palum  Maiuma:. 
Spclmanni  Glossarium,  fol.  Lond.  1687,  v.  MAIUMA.  See  also  Ducange,  v.  MAIUMA,  and  Car- 
penticr's  Glossary,  v.  MAIUM. 

d  Lodge,  in  his  Wits  Miserie,  or  the  Devils  Incarr.at  of  their  age/'  4to.  Lond.  1596,  p.  <27,  de- 
scribing Usury,  says  :  "  His  Spectacles  hang  beating  *  *  *  like  the  Flag  in  the  Top  of  a  May  Pole." 
Borlase,  speaking  of  the  manners  of  the  Cornish  people,  says  :  "  From  towns  they  make  excursions 
on  May  Eve  into  the  country,  cut  down  a  tall  elm,  bring  it  into  the  town  with  rejoicings,  and 
having  fitted  a  straight  taper  pole  to  the  en;!  of  it,  ami  painted  it,  erect  it  in  the  most  public  part, 
and,  upon  holidays  and  festivals,  dress  it  with  garlands  of  flowers,  or  ensigns  and  streamers." 

e  Reed's  Shaksp.  8vo.  1803,  vol.  xi.  p.  440.  By  King  Charles  the  First's  warrant,  dated  Oct. 
IS,  1633,  it  was  enacted,  that,  "  for  his  good  people's  lavvfull  recreation,  after  the  end  of  Divine 
Service,  his  good  people  be  not  disturbed,  letted,  or  discouraged  from  any  lawfull  recreation: 
such  as  dancing,  either  men  or  women;  archery  for  men,  leaping,  vaulting,  or  any  other  such 
harmless  recreations  ;  nor  from  having  of  May  Games,  Whitson  Ales,  and  Morris  Dances,  and  the 
setting  up  of  MAY  POLES,  and  other  sports  therewith  used ;  so  as  the  same  be  had  in  due  and  con- 
venient time,  without  impediment  or  neglect  of  Divine  Service.  And  that  women  shall  have  leave 
to  carry  rushes  to  the  church,  for  the  decorating  of  it,  according  to  their  old  custom.  But  with 
all  his  Majesty  doth  hereby  account  still  as  prohibited,  all  unlawful  games  to  be  used  on  Sundays 


196  MATT    POLES. 

In  "Pasquil's  Palinodia,  a  Poem,"  4to.  Lond.  1634,  is  preserved  a  curious 
description  of  May  Poles f: 

"Fairely  we  marched  on,  till  our  approach 

Within  the  spacious  passage  of  the  Strand, 
Objected  to  our  sight  a  summer-broach, 

Ycleap'd  a  May  Pole,  which,  in  all  our  land, 
No  city,  towne,  nor  streete,  can  parralell, 
Nor  can  the  lofty  spire  of  darken -well, 
Although  we  have  the  advantage  of  a  rocke, 
Pearch  up  more  high  his  turning  weather-cock. 

"  Stay,  quoth  my  Muse,  and  here  behold  a  Signe 
Of  harmelesse  mirth  and  honest  neighbourhood, 
Where  all  the  parish  did  in  one  combine 

To  mount  the  rod  of  peace,   and  none  withstood  : 
When  no  capritious  constables  disturb  them, 
Nor  justice  of  the  peace  did  seeke  to  curb  them, 
Nor  peevish  puritan,  in  rayling  sort, 
Nor  over-wise  church-warden,   spoyl'd  the  sport. 

only,  as  bear  and  bull-baitings,  interludes,  and,  at  all  times  in  the  meaner  sort  of  people  by 
law  prohibited,  bowling."     Harris's  Life  of  Charles  I.  p.  48,  note. 

The  following  were  the  words  of  the  ordinance  for  their  destruction,  4to.  Lond.  printed  by  Rob. 
White,  1644  :  "  And  because  the  prophanation  of  the  Lord's  Day  hath  been  heretofore  greatly  oc- 
casioned by  May  Poles,  (a  heathenish  vanity,  generally  abused  to  superstition  and  wickednesse,) 
the  Lords  and  Commons  do  further  order  and  ordain,  that  all  and  singular  May  Poles,  that  are  or 
shall  be  erected,  shall  be  taken  down  and  removed  by  the  constables,  borsholders,  tything  men, 
petty  constables,  and  churchwardens  of  the  parishes,  when  the  same  be ;  and  that  no  May  Pole 
shall  be  hereafter  set  up,  erected,  or  suffered  to  be  within  this  kingdom  of  England  or  dominion 
of  Wales,  The  said  officers  to  be  fined  five  shillings  weekly  till  the  said  May  Pole  be  taken  downe." 
Die  Sabbathi,  6  April,  1644. 

f  [Mr.  Douce  observes  that,  "  during  the  reign  of  Elizabeth,  the  Puritans  made  considerable 
liavoc  among  the  May  Games,  by  their  preachings  and  invectives.  Poor  Maid  Marian  was  assimi- 
lated to  the  Whore  of  Babylon ;  Friar  Tuck  was  deemed  a  remnant  of  Popery  ;  and  the  Hobby- 
horse as  an  impious  and  Pagan  superstition :  and  they  were  at  length  most  completely  put  to  the 
rout  as  the  bitterest  enemies  of  religion.  King  James's  Book  of  Sports  restored  the  Lady  and  the 
Hobby-horse  :  but,  during  the  Commonwealth,  they  were  again  attacked  by  a  new  set  of  fana- 
tics ;  and,  together  with  the  whole  of  the  May  festivities,  the  Whitsun-ales,  &c.  in  many  parts 
of  England,  degraded."  Illustr.  of  Shakspeare  and  of  Ancient  Manners,  vol.  ii.  p.  463.] 


MAY    POLES.  197 

"  Happy  the  age,  and  harmlesse  were  the  dayes, 

(For  then  true  love  and  amity  was  found,) 
When  every  village  did  a  May  Pole  raise, 

And  Whitson-ales  and  MAY-GAMES  did  abound : 
And  all  the  lusty  yonkers,  in  a  rout, 
With  merry  lasses  daunc'd  the  rod  about, 
Then  Friendship  to  their  banquets  bid  the  guests, 
And  poore  men  far'd  the  better  for  their  feasts. 
"  The  lords  of  castles,  manners,  tovvnes,  and  towers, 

Rejoic'd  when  they  beheld  the  farmers  flourish, 
And  would  come  dovvne  unto  the  summer-bowers 

To  see  the  country-gallants  dance  the  Morrice. 
****** 

"  But  since  the  SUMMER  POLES  were  overthrown, 

And  all  good  sports  and  merriments  decay'd, 
How  times  and  men  are  chang'd,  so  well  is  knowne, 

It  were  but  labour  lost  if  more  were  said. 

****** 

"  Alas,  poore  May  Poles ;  what  should  be  the  cause 

That  you  were  almost  banish't  from  the  earth  ? 
Who  never  were  rebellious  to  the  Lawes  ; 

Your  greatest  crime  was  harmelesse,  honest  mirth  : 
What  fell  malignant  spirit  was  there  found, 
To  cast  your  tall  Pyramides  to  ground  ? 
To  be  some  envious  nature  it  appeares, 
That  men  might  fall  together  by  the  eares. 
"  Some  fiery,  zealous  brother,  full  of  spleene, 

That  all  the  world  in  his  deepe  wisdom  scornes, 
Could  not  endure  the  May-Pole  should  be  scene 

To  weare  a  coxe-combe  higher  than  his  homes  : 
He  tooke  it  for  an  Idoll,  and  the  feast 
For  sacrifice  unto  that  painted  beast; 
Or  for  the  wooden  Trojan  asse  of  sinne, 
By  which  the  wicked  merry  Greeks  came  in. 

"  But  I  doe  hope  once  more  the  day  will  come, 

That  you  shall  mount  and  pearch  your  cocks  as  high 


JQ8  MAT   POLES. 

As  ere  you  did,  and  that  the  pipe  and  drum 

Shall  bid  defiance  to  your  enemy  ; 
And  that  all  fidlers,  which  in  comers  lurke, 
And  have  been  almost  starv'd  for  want  of  worke, 
Shall  draw  their  crowds,  and,  at  your  exaltation, 
Play  many  a  fit  of  merry  recreation. 

"And  you,  my  native  town*,  which  was,  of  old, 

(When  as  thy  bon-fires  burn'd  and  May  Poles  stood, 
And  when  thy  wassail-cups  were  uncontrol'd,) 

The  summer  bower  of  peace  and  neighbourhood. 
Although,  since  these  went  down,  thou  lyst  forlorn, 
By  factious  schismes  and  humours  over-borne, 
Some  able  hand  I  hope  thy  rod  will  raise, 
That  thou  mayst  see  once  more  thy  happy  dales." 

After  the  Restoration,  as  has  been  already  noticed,  May  Poles  were  permit- 
ted to  be  erected  again h.  Thomas  Hall,  however,  another  of  the  puritanical 
writers,  published  his  "Funebriae  Flora?1,  the  Downfall  of  May  Games,"  so 
late  as  1660.  At  the  end  is  a  copy  of  verses,  from  which  the  subsequent  selec- 
tion has  been  made : 

"I  am  Sir  May-pole,  that's  my  name; 
Men,   May,  and  Mirth,  give  me  the  same. 
***** 

"And  thus  hath  Flora,   May,  and  Mirth, 
Begun  and  cherished  my  birth, 


t  Leed.     [Leeds?] 

h  In  a  curious  Tract,  intitled,  "The  Lord's  loud  Call  to  England/'  published  by  H.  Jessey, 
1660,  there  is  given  part  of  a  letter  from  one  of  the  Puritan  party  in  the  North,  dated  "  New- 
castle, 7th  of  May,  1660:"  "Sir,  the  countrey,  as  well  as  the  town,  abounds  with  vanities ;  now 
the  reins  of  liberty  and  licentiousness  are  let  loose  :  May-poles,  and  playes,  and  juglers,  and  all 
things  else,  now  pass  current.  Sin  now  appears  with  a  brazen  face,"  &c. 

1  Dr.  Stukeley,  in  his  Itinerarhun  Curiosum,  fol.  Lond.  1724,  p.  29,  says  :  There  is  a  May-pole 
hill  near  Horn  Castle,  Lincolnshire,  "  where  probably  stood  an  Hermes  in  Roman  times.  The 
boys  annually  keep  up  the  festival  of  the  Floralia  on  May  Day,  making  a  procession  to  this  hill 
with  May  gads  (as  they  call  them)  in  their  hands.  This  is  a  white  willow  wand,  the  bark  peel'd 
off,  ty'd  round  with  cowslips,  a  thyrsus  of  the  Bacchinals.  At  night  they  have  a  bonefire,  and 
Other  merriment,  which  is  really  a  sacrifice,  or  religious  festival." 


MAY    POLES.  199 

Till  time  and  means  so  favour'd  mee, 
That  of  a  twigg  I  waxt  a  tree  : 
Then  all  the  people,  less  and  more, 
My  height  and  tallness  did  adore. 
***** 

"  under  Heaven's  cope, 

There's  none  as  I  so  near  the  Pope. 
Whereof  the  Papists  give  to  mee, 
Next  papal,  second  dignity. 
Hath  holy  father  much  a  doe 
When  he  is  chosen  ?  so  have  I  too  : 
Doth  he  upon  men's  shoulders  ride  ? 
That  honour  doth  to  mee  betide  : 
There  is  joy  at  my  plantation, 
As  is  at  his  coronation  ; 
Men,  women,  children,   on  an  heap, 
Do  sing,  and  dance,  and  frisk,  and  leap  ; 
Yea,  drumms  and  drunkards,   on  a  rout, 
Before  mee  make  a  hideous  shout; 
***** 

For,  where  'tis  nois'd  that  I  am  come, 
My  followers  summon'd  are  by  drum. 
I  have  a  mighty  retinue, 
The  scum  of  all  the  raskall  crew 
Of  fidlers,  pedlers,  jayle-scap't  slaves, 
Of  tinkers,  turn-coats,  tospot-knaves, 
Of  theeves  and  scape-thrifts  many  a  one, 
With  bouncing  Besse,  and  jolly  Jone, 
With  idle  boyes,  and  journey-men, 
And  vagrants  that  their  country  run  : 
Yea,  Hobby-horse  doth  hither  prance, 
Maid-Marrian  and  the  Morrice-dance. 
My  summons  fetcheth,  far  and  near, 
All  that  can  swagger,  roar,  and  swear k, 

k  In  ''The  Honcstie  of  this  Age,"  by  Barnabe  Rych,  4to.  Loud.  1615,  p.  5,  is  the  following 


200  MAY    POLES. 

All  that  can  dance,  and  drab,  and  drink, 
They  run  to  mee  as  to  a  sink. 
These  mee  for  their  commander  take, 
And  I  do  them  my  black-guard  make. 

***** 

I  tell  them  'tis  a  time  to  laugh, 
To  give  themselves  free  leave  to  quafl', 
To  drink  their  healths  upon  their  knee, 
To  mix  their  talk  with  ribaldry. 

***** 

Old  crones,  that  scarce  have  tooth  or  eye, 
But  crooked  back  and  lamed  thigh, 
Must  have  a  frisk,  and  shake  their  heel 
As  if  no  stitch  nor  ache  they  feel. 
I  bid  the  servant  disobey, 
The  childe  to  say  his  parents  nay. 
The  poorer  sort,  that  have  no  coin, 
I  can  command  them  to  purloin. 
All  this,  and  more,  I  warrant  good, 
For  'tis  to  maintain  neighbourhood. 
***** 

The  honour  of  the  Sabbath-day 
My  dancing-greens  have  ta'en  away 
Let  preachers  prate  till  they  grow  wood, 
Where  I  am  they  can  do  no  good/' 

At  page  10,  he  says:  "The  most  of  these  May-poles  are  stolien,  yet  they 
give  out  that  the  poles  are  given  them." — "  There  were  two  May-poles  set  up 
in  my  parish  [King's-Norton]  ;  the  one  was  stolien,  and  the  other  was  given  by 
a  profest  papist.  That  which  was  stolien  was  said  to  bee  given,  when  'twas 
proved  to  their  faces  that  'twas  stolien,  and  they  were  made  to  acknowledge 
their  offence.  This  pole  that  was  stolien  was  rated  at  five  shillings :  if  all  the 
poles  one  with  another  were  so  rated,  which  were  stolien  this  May,  what  a  con- 
siderable sum  would  it  amount  to !  Fightings  and  bloodshed  are  usual  at  such 

passage :  "  the  country  swaine,  that  will  sweare  more  on  Sundaies,  dancing  about  a  May  Pole, 
then  he  will  doe  all  the  week  after  at  his  worke,  will  have  a  cast  at  me." 


MAY    POLES.  201 

meetings,  insomuch  that  'tis  a  common  saying,  that  'tis  w>  festival  unless  there 
bee  somejightings." 

"  If  Moses  were  angry  (he  says  in  another  page)  when  he  saw  the  people 
dance  about  a  golden  calf,  well  may  we  be  angry  to  see  people  dancing  the 
morrice  about  a  post  in  honour  of  a  whore,  as  you  shall  see  anon." 

"  Had  this  rudeness,"  he  adds,  "  been  acted  only  in  some  ignorant  and  ob- 
scure parts  of  the  land,  I  had  been  silent;  but  when  I  perceived  that  the  com- 
plaints were  general  from  all  parts  of  the  land,  and  that  even  in  Cheapside  itself 
the  rude  rabble  had  set  up  this  ensign  of  prophaneness,  and  had  put  the  lord- 
mayor  to  the  trouble  of  seeing  it  pulled  down,  I  could  not,  out  of  my  dearest 
respects  and  tender  compassion  to  the  land  of  my  nativity,  and  for  the  preven- 
tion of  the  like  disorders  (if  possible)  for  the  future,  but  put  pen  to  paper,  and 
discover  the  sinful  rise,  and  vile  prophaneness  that  attend  such  misrule1."  p.  5. 

The  author  of  the  pamphlet,  intitled,  "  The  Way  to  Things  by  Words,  and 
Words  by  Things,"  in  his  specimen  of  an  Etymological  Vocabulary,  considers  the 
May-pole  in  a  new  and  curious  light.  We  gather  from  him  that  our  ancestors  held 
an  anniversary  assembly  on  May-day ;  and  that  the  column  of  May  (whence 
our  May-pole)  was  the  great  standard  of  justice  in  the  Ey-Commons  or  Fields 

1  In  "  Small  Poems  of  divers  Sorts,  written  by  Sir  Aston  Cokain,"  8vo,  Lond.  1658,  p.  209,  is 
the  following :  33.  Of  Wakes,  and  May-poles. 

"  The  Zelots  here  are  grown  so  ignorant, 
That  they  mistake  Wakes  for  some  ancient  Saint, 
They  else  would  keep  that  Feast ;  for  though  they  all 
Would  be  cal'd  Saints  here,  none  in  heaven  they  call : 
Besides  they  May-poles  hate  with  all  their  soul, 
I  think,  because  a  Cardinal  was  a  Vole." 

Stevenson,  in  "  The  Twelve  Moneths,"  already  quoted  in  another  note,  has  these  observations  at 
the  end  of  May : 

-  "  Why  should  the  Priest  against  the  May-pole  preach  ? 
Alas  !  it  is  a  thing  out  of  his  reach  : 
How  he  the  errour  of  the  time  condoles,   , 
And  sayes,  'tis  none  of  the  celestial  poles  ; 
Whilst  he  (fond  man!)  at  May-poles  thus  perplext, 
Forgets  he  makes  a  May-game  of  his  text. 
But  May  shall  tryumph  at  a  higher  rate, 
Having  Trees  for  poles,  and  Boughs  to  celebrate ; 
And  the  green  regiment,  in  brave  array, 
Like  Kent's  Great  walking  Grove,  shall  bring  in  May."     P.  £5, 

VOL.   I.  DD 


202  MAY   POLES. 

of  May  m.  Here  it  was  that  the  people,  if  they  saw  cause,  deposed  or  punished 
their  governors,  their  barons,  and  their  kings.  The  judge's  bough  or  wand  (at 
this  time  discontinued,  and  only  faintly  represented  by  a  trifling  nosegay),  and 
the  staff  or  rod  of  authority  in  the  civil  and  in  the  military  (for  it  was  the  mace 
of  civil  power,  and  the  truncheon  of  the  field  officers),  are  both  derived  from 
hence.  A  mayor,  he  says,  received  his  name  from  this  May,  in  the  sense  of 
lawful  power;  the  crown,  a  mark  of  dignity  and  symbol  of  power,  like  the 
mace  and  sceptre,  was  also  taken  from  the  May,  being  representative  of  the  gar- 
land or  crown,  which,  when  hung  on  the  top  of  the  May  or  Pole,  was  the  great 
signal  for  convening  the  people  ;  the  arches  of  it,  which  spring  from  the  circlet, 
and  meet  together  at  the  mound  or  round  bell,  being  necessarily  so  formed,  to 
suspend  it  to  the  top  of  the  pole. 

The  word  May-pole,  he  observes,  is  a  pleonasm ;  in  French  it  is  called  singly 
the  Mai. 

He  farther  tells  us,  that  this  is  one  of  the  most  antient  customs,  which  from 
the  remotest  ages  has  been,  by  repetition  from  year  to  year,  perpetuated  down 
to  our  days,  not  being  at  this  instant  totally  exploded,  especially  in  the  lower 
classes  of  life.  It  was  considered  as  the  boundary  day,  that  divided  the  confines 
of  M'inter  and  summer,  allusively  to  which  there  was  instituted  a  sportful  war 
between  two  parties ;  the  one  in  defence  of  the  continuance  of  winter,  the  other 
for  bringing  in  the  summer.  The  youth  were  divided  into  troops,  the  one  in 
winter  livery,  the  other  in  the  gay  habit  of  the  spring.  The  mock  battle"  was 

m  "At  Hcsket  (in  Cumberland)  yearly  on  St.  Barnabas's  Day,  by  the  highway  side  under  a  thorn 
tree  (according  to  the  very  ancient  manner  of  holding  assemblies  in  the  open  air),  is  kept  the 
court  for  the  whole  Forest  of  Englewood."  Nicolson  and  Burn's  Hist,  of  Westmor.  and  Cumb. 
vol.  ii.  p.  344. 

Keysler,  says  Mr.  Borlase,  thinks  that  the  custom  of  the  May  Pole  took  its  rise  from  the  earnest 
desire  of  the  people  to  see  their  king,  who  seldom  appearing  at  other  times,  made  his  procession 
at  this  time  of  year  to  the  great  assembly  of  the  States  held  in  the  open  air. 

11  "  Suecis  meridionalibus  et  Gothis,  longissimo  provinciarum  spatio  a  polo  remotis,  alius  ritus 
est,  ut  prime  die  Maii,  sole  per  taurum  agente  cursum,  duplices  a  magistratibus  urbium  consti- 
tuantur  robustorum  juvenum  et  virorum  equestres  turms,  seu  cohortes,  tanquam  ad  durum  ali- 
quem  conflictum  progressurae,  quarum  altera  sorte  deputato  duce  dirigitur :  qui  Hyemis  titulo  & 
habitu,  variis  indutus  pellibus,  hastis  focalibus  armatus,  globatas  nives,  &  crustatas  glacies  spargens, 
ut  frigora  prolonget,-sobequitat  victoriosus  :  eoque  duriorem  se  simulat,  et  efficit,  quo  ab  vaporariis 
stiriae  glaciales,tlependere  videntur.  Rursumque  alterius  equestris  cohortis  praefectus  jEstatis  Comes 
tiorialis  appellatus,  virentibus  arboram  frondibus,  foliisque  et  floribus  (difficulter  repertis)  vestitus, 


MAY    POLES.  203 

always  fought  booty ;  the  spring  was  sure  to  obtain  the  victory,  which  they  ce- 
lebrated by  carrying  triumphantly  green  branches  with  May  flowers,  proclaiming 
and  singing  the  song  of  joy,  of  which  the  burthen  was  in  these  or  equivalent 
terms  :  "  We  have  brought  the  summer  home  °." 

In  a  beautiful  poem  preserved  in  "  The  World,"  vol.  i.  No.  82,  entitled, 
"  The  Tears  of  Old  May  Day,"  ascribed  to  Mr.  Loveybond,  are  the  following 
stanzas,  in  allusion  to  the  alteration  of  the  style : 

"  Vain  hope !   no  more  in  choral  bands  unite 

Her  virgin  vot'ries,  and  at  early  dawn, 
Sacred  to  May,  and  Love's  mysterious  rite, 

Brush  the  light  dew-drops  from  the  spangled  lawn  P. 
To  her  no  more  Augusta's  wealthy  pride 

Pours  the  full  tribute  from  Potosi's  mine ; 
Nor  fresh-blown  garlands  village-maids  provide, 

A  purer  offering  at  her  rustic  shrine. 

cestivalibus  indumentis  parum  securis,  ex  campo  cum  duce  hyemali,  licet  separate  loco  et  ordine, 
civitates  ingrediuntur,  hastisque  edito  spectaculo  publico,  quod  sestas  hyemem  exuperet,  experiuntur." 
Olai  Magni  Historise  Septentr.  Gentium  Breviai-ium.  12mo.  Lugd.  Bat.  1645,  lib.  xv.  cap.  ii.  p.  404. 

0  A  singular  custom  used  to  be  annually  observed  on  May  Day  by  the  boys  of  Frindsbury  *,  and 
the  neighbouring  town  of  Stroud.     They  met  on  Rochester  bridge,  where  a  skirmish  ensued  be- 
tween them.     This  combat  probably  derived  its  origin  from  a  drubbing  received  by  the  monks 
of  Rochester  in  the  reign  of  Edward  I.     These  monks,  on  occasion  of  a  long  drought,   set 
out  on  a  procession  for  Frindsbury  to  pray  for  rain ;  but  the  day  proving  windy,  they  apprehended 
the  lights  would  be  blown  out,  the  banners  tossed  about,  and  their  order  much  discomposed. 
They,  therefore,  requested  of  the  Master  of  Stroud  Hospital  leave  to  pass  through  the  orchard  of 
his  house,  which  he  granted  without  the  permission  of  his  brethren ;  who,  when  they  had  heard 
what  the  Master  had  done,  instantly  hired  a  company  of  ribalds,  armed  with  clubs  and  bats,  who 
way-laid  the  poor  monks  in  the  orchard,  and  gave  them  a  severe  beating.     The  monks  desisted 
from  proceeding  that  way,  but  soon  after  found  out  a  pious  mode  of  revenge,  by  obliging  the  men 
of  Frindsbury,  \vith  due  humility,  to  come  yearly  on  Whit  Monday,  with  their  clubs  in  procession 
to  Rochester,  as  a  penance  for  their  sins.   Hence  probably  came  the  by-word  of  Frindsbury  Clubs." 
Ireland's  Picturesque  Views  of  the  Medway,  sect.  4. 

P  Alluding  to  the  country  custom  of  collecting  May-dew. 

1  The  plate-garlands  of  London.     In  the  British  Apollo,  fol.  Lond.  1708,  vol.  i.  No.  25,  to  one 
asking  "  whence  is  derived  the  custom  of  setting  up  May-poles,  and  dressing  them  with  garlands  ; 
and  what  is  the  reason  that  the  milk-maids  dance  before  their  customers  doors  with  their  pail* 
dressed  up  with  plate?"  it  is  answered :  "  It  was  a  custom  among  the  ancient  "Britons,  before  con- 

*  Hasted's  History  of  K«nt,  vol.  I.  p.  548,  says :  "  The  boys  of  Rochester  and  Stroud." 


204  MAY    POLES. 

No  more  the  May-pole's  verdant  height  around, 
To  valours  games  th'  ambitious  youth  advance  ; 

No  merry  bells  and  Tabor's  sprightlier  sound 
Wake  the  loud  carol  and  the  sportive  dance." 

Sir  Henry  Piers,  in  his  Description  of  Westmeath,  in  Ireland,  1682,  says; 
"  On  May  Eve,  every  family  sets  up  before  their  door  a  green  bush,  strewed 
over  with  yellow  flowers  j  which  the  meadows  yield  plentifully.  In  countries 
Avhere  timber  is  plentiful,  they  erect  tall  slender  trees,  which  stand  high,  and 
they  continue  almost  the  whole  year ;  so  as  a  stranger  would  go  nigh  to  imagine 
that  they  were  all  signs  of  ale-sellers,  and  that  all  houses  were  ale-houses r." 


MORRIS  DANCERS*, 

MAID  MARIAN,  OR  QUEEN  OF  THE  MAY. 

MR.  TOLLET,  in  his  Description  of  the  Morris  Dancers  upon  his  window, 
thus  describes  the  celebrated  Maid  Marian,  who,  as  Queen  of  May,  has  a 
golden  crown  on  her  head,  and  in  her  left  hand  a  red  pink,  as  emblem  of  Sum- 
verted  to  Christianity,  to  erect  these  May-poles,  adorned  with  flowers,  in  honour  of  the  goddess 
Flora ;  and  the  dancing  of  the  milk-maids  may  be  only  a  corruption  of  that  custom  in  complyance 
with  the  town." 

r  Vallancey's  Collectanea  de  Rebus  Hibernicis,  No.  1,  p.  123. 

a  The  Morris  Dance,  in  which  bells  are  gingled,  or  staves  or  swords  clashed,  was  learned,  says 
Dr.  Johnson,  by  the  Moors,  and  was  probably  a  kind  of  Pyrrhick,  or  military  dance. 

"  Morisco,"  says  Blount,  "  (Span.)  a  Moor ;  also  a  Dance,  so  called,  wherein  there  were  usu- 
ally five  men,  and  a  boy  dressed  in  a  girl's  habit,  whom  they  called  the  Maid  Marrion,  or,  per- 
haps, Morian,  from  the  Italian  Morione,  a  head-piece,  because  her  head  was  wont  to  be  gaily 
trimmed  up.  Common  people  call  it  a  Morris  Dance." 

The  Churchwardens'  and  Chamberlains'  Books  of  Kingston-upon-Thames,  furnished  Mr.  Lysons 
with  the  following  particulars  illustrative  of  our  subject,  given  in  the  "Environs  of  London," 
vol.  i.  p.  226,  under  the  head  of 

"  Robin  Hood  and  May  Game. 

£.    i.    d. 
"23  Hen.  VII.  To  the  menstorel  upon  May-day 004 


MORRIS    DANCERS.  205 

iner.  Her  vesture  was  once  fashionable  in  the  highest  degree.  Margaret,  the 
eldest  daughter  of  Henry  the  Seventh,  was  married  to  James  King  of  Scotland 
with  the  crown  upon  her  head  and  her  hair  hanging  down.  Betwixt  the  crown 


4 
23  Hen.  VII.  For  paynting  of  the  Mores  garments,  and  for  sarten  grot  leveres  * 

e. 

0 
0 
0 

0 
0 
0 
0 
0 
0 
0 
0 
0 
0 
0 
0 
(1 
0 

0 
0 

0 
0 

s.    d. 
2     4 
0     3 
0  10 
2   11 
O  10 
0     8 
O  12 
8     0 
0     7 
1     3 
3     0 
3     4 
0     6 
0     3 
0     G 
2     0 
6     0 

9     4 
3     G 

5     4 
16     0 

24  Hen.  VII.  For  Little  John's  cote    -                  -         -                            -         - 
1  Hen.  VIII.  For  silver  paper  for  the  Mores  dawnsara     - 

5  Hen.  VIII.  Rec"1  for  Robin-hood's  gaderyng  at  Croydon 
11  Hen.  VIII.  Paid  foi  three  brode  yerds  of  rosett  for  makyng  the  frcr's  cote  - 

7d.  a  peyre 
13  Hen.  VIII.  Eight  yerds  of  fustyan  for  the  Mores  daunsars  coats  - 

»  The  Word  Livery  was  formerly  used  to  signify  any  thing  delivered:  see  the  Northumberland  Household 
Book,  p.  GO.  If  it  ever  bore  such  an  acceptation  at  that  time,  one  might  be  induced  to  suppose,  from  the  fol- 
lowing entries,  that  it  here  meant  a  badge,  or  something  of  that  kind  : 

£.    s.    ,1. 

"  15  C  of  leveres  for  Robin-hode  050 
For  leveres,  paper,  and  sateyn     -  0     0  20 

For  pynnes  and  leveryes 0     6     5 

For  13  C.  of  leverys- 0     4    4 

For  24  great  lyverys 0     0     4." 

Probably  these  were  a  sort  of  cockades,  given  to  the  company  from  whom  the- money  was  collected.     J.  B. 
t  Mr.  Steevens  suggests,  with  great  probability,  that  this  word  may  have  the  same  meaning  as  Howve,  or 
Houve,  used  by  Chaucer  for  a  head-dress;  Maid  Marian's  head-dress  was  always  very  fine, 
t  It  appears  that  this,  as  well  as  other  games,  was  made  a  parish  concern. 


206  MORRIS    DANCERS. 

and  the  hair  was  a  very  rich  coif,  hanging  down  behind  the  whole  length  of  the 
body.     This  simple  example  sufficiently  explains  the  dress  of  Marian's  head. 


£. 

s. 

d. 

13  Hen. 

VIII. 

A  dosyn  of  gold  skynnes  *  for  the  Morres 

-  0 

0 

10 

15  Hen. 

VIII. 

Hire  of  hats  for  Rohyn  hode 

-  o 

0 

16 

P&id  for  the  litil  th;it  was  lost          _         -         -         -         - 

-  0 

o 

10 

16  Hen. 

VIII. 

Recd  at  the  Church-ale  and  Robyn-hode,  all  things  deducted 

-  3 

10 

6 

Payd  for  6  yerds  -V  of  satyn  for  Robyn-hode's  cotys    - 

-  0 

12 

6 

For  makyng  the  same    - 

-  0 

2 

O 

For  3  ells  of  locramf    - 

-  O 

1 

6 

21  Hen. 

VI  IT. 

For  spunging  and  brushing  Robyn-hode's  cotys 

-  0 

0 

2 

28  Hen. 

VIII. 

Five  hats  and  4  porses  for  the  daunsars  - 

-  0 

O 

4^ 

-  o 

0 

O 

2  ells  of  worstede  for  Maide  Maryan's  kyrtle     - 

-  0 

6 

8 

For  6  payre  of  double  sollyd  showne 

-  o 

4 

6 

To  the  mynstrele 

-  0 

10 

8 

Tn  flip  frvpr  ami  flip  ninpr  fnr  tn  crn  tn  l~!rnvilnn 

-  o 

0 

8 

"  29  Hen.  VIII.  Mem.  lefte  in  the  keping  of  the  Wardens  now  beinge,  a  fryer's  cote  of  russet, 
and  a  kyrtele  of  worsted  weltyd  with  red  cloth,  a  mowren's  {  cote  of  buckram,  and  4  Morres  daun- 
sars cotes  of  white  fustian  spangelyd,  and  two  gryne  saten  cotes,  and  a  dysardd's§  cote  of  cotton, 
and  6  payre  of  garters  with  bells." 

"After  this  period,"  says  Mr.  Lysons,  "  I  find  no  entries  relating  to  the  above  game||.  It  was 
so  much  in  fashion  in  the  reign  of  Henry  VIII.  that  the  king  and  his  nobles  would  sometimes 
appear  in  disguise  as  Robinhood  and  his  men,  dressed  in  Kendal,  with  hoods  and  hosen."  (See 
Holinshed's  Chron.  iii.  f.  SO5.) 

In  Coates's  History  of  Reading,  p.  130,  Churchwardens'  Accounts  of  St.  Mary's  parish,  we  have  : 

£.  s.  d. 
A.  D.  1557,  "  Item,  payed  to  the  Mynstrels  and  the  Hobby  Horse  uppon  May  Day  -  O  3  0 

Item,  payed  to  the  Moirys  Daunsers  and  the  Mynstrelles,  mete  and  drink 

at  Whitsontide  -  -  O     3     4 
Payed  to  them  the  Sonday  after  May  Day       -  -  O     0  20 

Pd  to  the  Painter  for  painting  of  their  cotes  -  -  O     2     8 

Pd  to  the  Painter  for  2  dz.  of  Lyveryes  -  .  -  O     0  2O 

In  the  rare  tract,  of  the  time  of  Queen  Elizabeth,  entitled,  "  Plaine  Percevall  the  Peace-maker 
of  England,"  4to.  B.  4.  b.  mention  is  made  of  a  "stranger,  which  seeing  a  quintessence  (beside 
the  Foole  and  the  Maid  Marian)  of  all  the  picked  youth,  strained  out  of  a  whole  endship,  footing 

*  Probably  gilt  leather,  the  pliability  of  which  was  particularly  accommodated  to  the  motion  of  the  dancers. 

•f-  A  sort  of  coarse  linen. 

J  Probably  a  Moor's  coat;  the  word  Morian  is  sometimes  used  to  express  a  Moor.  Black  buckram  appears 
to  have  been  much  used  for  the  dresses  of  the  ancient  mummers. 

§  llisard  is  an  old  word  for  a  fool. 

||  [In  the  Churchwardens'  Accounts  of  Great  Marlow,  it  appears  that  dresses  for  the  Morris  Dance  "  were  lent 
out  to  the  neighbouring  parishes.  They  are  accounted  for  so  late  as  1629."  See  Langley's  Antiquities  of  Des- 
borough,  4to.  1797,  p.  142.] 


MORRIS    DANCERS.  207 

Her  coif  is  purple,  her  surcoat  blue,  her  cuffs  white,  the  skirts  of  her  robe  yel- 
low, the  sleeves  of  a  carnation  colour,  and  her  stomacher  red,  with  a  yellow 

the  Morris  about  a  May-pole,  and  he  not  hearing,  the  minstrelsie  for  the  fidling,  the  tune  for  the 
sound,  nor  the  pipe  for  the  noise  of  the  tabor,  bluntly  demaunded  if  they  were  not  all  beside 
themselves,  that  they  so  lip'd  and  skip'd  without  an  occasion." 

"  Shakspeare  makes  mention  of  an  English  Whitson  Morrice  Dance,  in  the  following  speech  of 
the  IXiuphiu  in  Hen.  V. 

"No,  with  no  more,  than  if  we  heard  that  England 
Were  busied  with  a  Whitson  Morrice  Dance." 

"  The  English  were  famed,"  says  Dr.  Grey,  "  for  these  and  such  like  diversions ;  and  even  the 
old,  as  well  as  young  persons,  formerly  followed  them :  a  remarkable  instance  of  which  is  given 
by  Sir  William  Temple,  (Miscellanea,  Part  3.  Essay  of  Health  and  Long  Life,)  who  makes  men- 
tion of  a  Morrice  Dance  in  Herefordshire,  from  a  noble  person,  who  told  him  lie  had  a  pamphlet 
in  his  library,  written  by  a  very  ingenious  gentleman  of  that  county,  which  gave  an  account  how, 
in  such  a  year  of  King  James's  reign,  there  went  about  the  country  a  sett  of  Morrice  Dancers, 
composed  of  ten  men,  who  danced  a  Maid  Marrian,  and  a  tabor  and  pipe  :  and  how  these  ten, 
one  with  another,  made  up  twelve  hundred  years.  'Tis  not  so  much,  says  he,  that  so  many  in 
one  county  should  live  to  that  age,  as  that  they  should  be  in  vigour  and  humour  to  travel  and 
dance."  Grey's  Notes  on  Shakspeare,  vol.  i.  p.  SSS. 

The  following  description  of  a  Morris  Dance  occurs  in  a  very  rare  old  Poem,  intitled,  "  Cobbe's 
Prophecies,  his  Signes  and  Tokens,  his  Madrigalls,  Questions  and  Answers,"  &c.  4to.  Lond.  1614. 

"  It  was  my  hap  of  late,  by  chance, 

To  meet  a  Country  Morris  Dance, 

When,  cheefest  of  them  all,  the  Foole 

Plaied  with  a  ladle  and  a  toole  ; 

When  every  younger  shak't  his  bells 

Till  sweating  feet  gave  fohing  smells  ; 

And  fine  M;iide  Marian,  with  her  smoile, 

Shew'd  how  a  rascall  plaid  the  roile  : 

But,  when  the  Hobby-horse  did  wihy, 

Then  all  the  wenches  gave  a  tihy : 

But  when  they  gan  to  shake  their  boxe, 

And  not  a  goose  could  catch  a  foxe, 

The  piper  then  put  up  his  pipes, 

And  all  the  woodcocks  look't  like  snipes, 

And  therewith  fell  a  show'ry  streame,"  &c. 
As  is  the  following  in  Cotgrave's  "English  Treasury  of  Wit  and  Language,"  8vo.  Lond.  1655,  p.  56 : 

"How  they  become  the  Morris,  with  whose  bells 

They  ring  all  in  to  Whitson  Ales,  and  sweat 

Through  twenty  scarfs  and  napkins,  till  the  Hobby-horse 

Tire,  and  the  Maid  Marian,  resolv'd  to  jelly, 

Be  kept  for  spoon-meat." 


208  MORRIS    DANCERS. 

lace  in  cross-bars.     In  Shakespeare's  play  of  Henry  the  Eighth,  Anne  Boleyn, 
at   her  coronation,   is   in  her   hair,  or,  as   Holinshed   says,  her  hair   hanged 

We  have  an  allusion  to  the  Morris  dancer  in  the  Preface  to  "  Mythomistes,"  a  tract  of  the  time 
of  Charles  I.  printed  by  Henry  Seyle,  at  the  Tiger's  Head  in  St.  Paul's  Church-yard  :  "Yet  such 
helpes,  as  if  nature  have  not  beforehand  in  his  byrth,  given  a  Poet,  all  such  forced  art  will  come 
behind  as  Lame  to  the  businesse,  and  deficient  as  the  best  taught  countrey  Morris  dauncer,  with  all 
his  bells  and  napkins,  will  ill  deserve  to  be,  in  an  Inne  of  Courte  at  Christmas,  tearmed  the  thing 
the  call  a  fine  reveller." 

Stevenson,  in  "The  Twelve  Moneths,"  4to.  Lond.  1661,  p.  17,  speaking  of  April,  tells  us: 
"The  youth  of  the  country  make  ready  for  the  Morris-dance,  and  the  merry  milk-maid  supplies 
them  with  ribbands  her  true  love  had  given  her." 

In  "Articles  of  Visitation  and  Enquiry  for  the  Diocese  of  St.  David,"  4to.  1662,  I  find  the  fol- 
lowing article :  "  Have  no  minstrels,  no  Morris-dancers,  no  dogs,  hawks,  or  hounds,  been  suf- 
fred  to  be  brought  or  come  into  your  church,  to  the  disturbance  of  the  congregation  ?" 

The  Editor  of  "  The  sad  Shepherd,"  3vo.  1783,  p.  255,  mentions  seeing  a  company  of  Morrice- 
dancers  from  Abington,  at  Richmond  in  Surrey,  so  late  as  the  summer  of  1783.  They  appeared 
to  be  making  a  kind  of  annual  circuit.  See  Reed's  edit,  of  Shakspeare,  Svo.  Lond.  1803, 
vol.  xiii.  p.  276. 

A  few  years  ago,  a  May  Game,  or  Morris  Dance,  was  performed  by  the  following  eight  men  in 
Herefordshire,  whose  ages,  computed  together,  amounted  to  80O  years  :  J.  Corley,  aged  109 ; 
Thomas  Buckley,  106 ;  John  Snow,  101 ;  John  Edey,  104 ;  George  Bailey,  106 ;  Joseph  Med- 
bury,  100;  John  Medbury,  95;  Joseph  Pidgeon,  79. 

[Since  these  Notes  were  collected,  a  Dissertation  on  the  ancient  English  Morris  Dance  has  ap- 
peared, from  the  pen  of  Mr.  Douce,  at  the  end  of  the  second  volume  of  his  "  Illustrations  of  Shak- 
speare and  of  Ancient  Manners." 

Both  English  and  Foreign  Glossaries,  Mr.  Douce  observes,  uniformly  ascribe  the  origin  of  this 
dance  to  the  Moors :  although  the  genuine  Moorish,  or  Morisco  Dance,  was,  no  doubt,  very  dif- 
ferent from  the  European  Morris.  Strutt,  in  his  Sports  and  Pastimes  of  the  People  of  England, 
has  cited  a  passage  from  the  play  of  Variety,  1649,  in  which  the  Spanish  Morisco  is  mentioned, 
And  this,  Mr.  Douce  adds,  not  only  shews  the  legitimacy  of  the  term  Morris,  but  that  the  real 
and  uncorrupted  Moorish  dance  was  to  be  found  in  Spain,  where  it  still  continues  to  delight  both 
natives  and  foreigners,  under  the  name  of  the  Fandango.  The  Spanish  Morrice  was  also  danced 
at  puppet-shews  by  a  person  habited  like  a  Moor,  with  castagnets;  and  Junius  has  informed  us 
that  the  Morris-dancers  usually  blackened  their  faces  with  soot,  that  they  might  the  better  pass 
for  Moors*. 

Having  noticed  the  corruption  of  the  Pyrrhica  Saltatio  of  the  ancients,  and  the  uncorrupted 
Morris  Dance,  as  practised  in  France  about  the  beginning  of  the  thirteenth  century,  Mr.  Doiice 
says  :  "  It  has  been  supposed  that  the  Morris  Dance  was  first  brought  into  England  in  the  time 

*  "  Fa.eiem  plerumque  inficiunt  fuligine,  et  peregrinum  vestium  cultum  assumunt,  qui  ludicris  talibus 

indulgent,  ut  Mauri  esse  videantur,  aut  e  longius  reraota  patria  credantur  advolasse,  atque   insolens  recrea- 
tit'iiis  genus  advexisse." 


MORRIS    DANCERS.  209 

down,  but  on  her  head  she  had  a  coif,  with  a  circlet  ahout  it  full  of  rich 
stones  b. 

After  the  Morris  degenerated  into  a  piece  of  coarse  buffoonery,  and  Maid 
Marian  was  personated  by  a  clown,  this  once  elegant  Queen  of  May  obtained 

of  Edward  the  Third,  when  John  of  Gaunt  returned  from  Spain,  (see  Peck's  Memoirs  of  Milton, 
p.  135,)  but  it  is  much  more  probable  that  we  had  it  from  our  Gallic  neighbours,  or  even  from 
the  Flemings.  Few  if  any  vestiges  of  it  can  be  traced  beyond  the  reign  of  Henry  the  Seventh, 
about  which  time,  and  particularly  in  that  of  Henry  the  Eighth,  the  Churchwardens  accounts  in 
several  parishes  afford  materials  that  throw  much  light  on  the  subject,  and  show  that  the  Morris 
Dance  made  a  very  considerable  figure  in  the  parochial  festivals." 

"  We  find  also,"  Mr.  Douce  continues,  "  that  other  festivals  and  ceremonies  had  their  Morris  ; 
as,  Holy  Thursday ;  the  Whitsun  Ales ;  the  Bride  Ales,  or  Weddings  ;  and  a  sort  of  Play,  or 
Pageant,  called  the  Lord  of  Misrule.  Sheriffs  too  had  their  Morris  Dance." 

"  The  May  Games  of  Robin  Hood,"  it  is  observed,  "  appear  to  have  been  principally  instituted 
for  the  encouragement  of  archery,  and  were  generally  accompanied  by  Mo.rris-dancers,  who,  never- 
theless, formed  but  a  subordinate  part  of  the  ceremony.  It  is  by  no  means  clear  that,  at  any  time, 
Robin  Hood  and  his  companions  were  constituent  characters  in  the  Morris."  "  In  Laneham's  Let- 
ter from  Kenilworth,  or  Killingworth  Castle,  a  Bride  Ale  is  described,  in  which  mention  is  made 
of  'a  lively  Moris  dauns,  according  too  the  auncient  manner:  six  dauncerz,  Mawdmarion,  and 
the  fool."] 

In  "Pasquill  and  Marforius,"  4to.  1589,  signal.  B.  3  b.  we  read  of  "The  May-game  of  Mar- 
tinisme,  veric  defBie  set  out,  with  pompes,  pagents,  motions,  maskes,  scutchions,  emblems,  iin- 
preases,  strange  trickes  and  devises,  betweene  the  ape  and  the  o\vle,  the  like  was  never  yet  secnc 
in  Paris  Garden.  Penry  the  Welchman  is  the  foregallant  of  the  Mortice  with  the  treble  belles, 
shot  through  the  wit  with  a  woodcock's  bill.  I  would  not  for  the  fayrest  horne-beast  in  all  his 
countrey,  that  the  Church  of  England  were  a  cup  of  Metheglin,  and  came  in  his  way  when  he  is 
overheated ;  every  Bishopricke  would  procure  but  a  draught,  when  the  mazer  is  at  his  nose." 

"  Martin  himselfe  is  the  Mayd-Marian,  trimlie  drest  uppe  in  a  cast  gowne,  and  a  kerchcr  of 
Dame  Lawsons,  his  face  handsomelic  muffled  with  a  Diaper-Napkin  to  cover  his  beard,  and  ;i 
great  nose-gay  in  his  hande  of  the  principalest  flowers  I  could  gather  out  of  all  hys  works. 
Wiggenton  daunces  round  about  him  in  a  cotten-coate,  to  court  him  with  a  leatherne  pudding  and 
a  woodden  ladle.  Pagct  marshalleth  the  way  with  a  couple  of  great  clubbes,  one  in  his  foote,  an- 
other in  his  head,  and  he  cryes  to  the  people,  with  a  loude  voice,  '  beware  of  the  man  whom  God 
hath  markt.'  I  cannot  yet  finde  any  so  fitte  to  come  lagging  behind,  with  a  budget  on  his  ncckc 
to  gather  the  devotion  of  the  lookers  on,  us  the  stocke- keeper  of  the  Bridewelhouse  of  Canterburic; 
he  musi  carry  the  purse  to  defray  their  charges,  and  .then  hee  may  be  sure  to  serve  himselfe." 

b  In  Coates's  History  of  Reading,  4to.  1802,  p.  220.  In  the  Churchwardens'  Accounts  of  St. 
Lawrence  Parish  is  the  following  entry : 

"  1531.  It.  for  ffyre  ells  of  canvas  for  a  cote  for  Made  Maryon,  at  iiid.  oh.  the  ell.  xvijd.  ob.'" 
VOL.    I.  E  E 


210  MORRIS    DANCERS. 

the  name  of  Malkinc.     To  this  Beaumont  and  Fletcher  allude  in  Monsieur 

Thomas : 

"  Put  on  the  shape  of  order  and  humanity, 

Or  you  must  marry  Malkyn,  the  May  Lady." 

Bishop  Percy  and  Mr.  Steevens  agree  in  making  Maid  Marian  the  mistress  of 
Robin  Hood.  "  It  appears  from  the  old  play  of  'The  Downfall  of  Robert  Earl 
of  Huntingdon,'  1(501,"  (says  Mr.  Steevens d,)  "that  Maid  Marian  was  origi- 
nally a  name  assumed  by  Matilda  the  daughter  of  Robert  Lord  Fitzwalter, 
while  Robin  Hood  remained  in  a  state  of  outlawry: 

"  Next  'tis  agreed  (if  thereto  shee  agree) 

That  faire  Matilda  henceforth  change  her  name  ; 

And,  while  it  is  the  chance  of  Robin  Hoode 

To  live  in  Sherewodde  a  poor  outlaw's  life, 

She  by  Maide  Marian's  name  be  only  call'd. 

"Mat.  I  am  contented  ;  reade  o'n,    Little  John  : 

Henceforth  let  me  be  nam'd  Maide  Marian." 

"This  Lady  was  poisoned  by  King  John  at  Dunmow  Prior}',  after  he  had 
made  several  fruitless  attempts  on  her  chastity.  Drayton  has  written  her 
legend6." 

c  In  Greene's  Quip  for  an  upstart  Courtier,"  4to.  Lond.  1620,  fol.  11  a.  that  effeminate  looking 
young  man,  we  are  told,  used  to  act  the  part  of  Maid  Marian,  "  to  make  the  foole  as  faire,  for- 
sooth, as  if  he  were  to  play  Maid  Marian  in  a  May  Game  or  a  Morris  Dance." 

In  Shakerley  Mannion's  "  Antiquary,"  Act  4,  is  the  following  passage :  "  A  merry  world  the 
while,  my  boy  and  I,  next  Midsommer  Ale,  /  may  serve  for  a  fool,  and  he  for  Maid  Marrian." 
Shakspeare,  Hen.  IV.  Part  1.  A.  iii.  sc.  3,  speaks  of  Maid  Marian  in  her  degraded  state.  It  appears 
by  one  of  the  extracts  already  given  from  Mr.  Lysons's  Environs  of  London,  that  in  the  reign  of 
Hen.  VIII.  at  Kingston- iij>on-Thames,  the  character  was  performed  by  a  woman  who  received  a 
shilling  each  year  for  her  trouble. 

d  See  Reed's  Shaksp.  Svo.  Lond.  1803,  vol.  xi.  p.  363. 

•  In  Brathwaite's  Strappado  for  the  Divell,  Svo.  Lond.  1615,  p.  63,  is  the  following  passage: 

"  As  for  his  bloud, 

He  says  he  can  deriv't  from  Robin  Hood 
And  his  May-Marian,  and  I  thinke  he  may, 
For 's  Mother  plaid  May-Marian  t'  other  day." 

[Mr.  Douce,  however,  considers  this  story  as  a  dramatic  fiction:  "None  of  the  materials,"  he 
observes,  "  that  constitute  the  more  authentic  history  of  Robin  Hood,  prove  the  existence  of  such 
a  character  in  the  shape  of  his  mistress.  There  is  a  pretty  French  pastoral  drama  of  the  eleventh 
or  twelfth  century,  entitled  Le  Jeu  du  berger  et  de  la  bergert,  in  which  the  principal  characters 


MORRIS    DANCERS.  211 

Waldron,  in  his  Description  of  the  Isle  of  Man,  (Works,  fol.  p.  154,)  tells  us, 
that  the  month  of  May  is  there  every  year  ushered  in  with  the  following  cere- 
mony :  "  In  almost  all  the  great  parishes,  they  chuse  from  among  the  daughters, 
of  the  most  wealthy  farmers  a  young  maid  for  the  Queen  of  May.  She  is 
drest  in  the  gayest  and  best  manner  they  can,  and  is  attended  by  about  twenty 
others,  who  are  called  maids  of  honour :  she  has  also  a  young  man,  who  is 
her  captain,  and  has  under  his  command  a  good  number  of  inferior  officers.  In 
opposition  to  her  is  the  Qtieen  of  Winter,  who  is  a  man  drest  in  woman's 
clothes,  with  woollen  hoods,  furr  tippets,  and  loaded  with  the  warmest  and  hea- 
viest habits  one  upon  another :  in  the  same  manner  are  those  who  represent  her 
attendants  drest,  rior  is  she  without  a  captain  and  troop  for  her  defence.  Both 
being  equipt  as  proper  emblems,  of  the  beauty  of  the  Spring,  and  the  deformity 
of  the  Winter,  they  set  forth  from  their  respective  quarters;  the  one  preceded 
by  violins  and  flutes,  the  other  with  the  rough  musick  of  the  tongs  and  cleavers. 
Both  companies  march  till  they  meet  on  a  common,  and  then  their  trains  engage 
in  a  mock  battle.  If  the  Queen  of  Winter's  forces  get  the  better  so  far  as  to 
take  the  Queen  of  May  prisoner,  she  is  ransomed  for  as  much  as  pays  the  ex- 
pences  of  the  day.  After  this  ceremony,  Winter  and  her  company  retire,  and 
divert  themselves  in  a  barn,  and  the  others  remain  on  the  green,  where,  having 
danced  a  considerable  time,  they  conclude  the  evening  with  a  feast :  the  Queen 
at  one  table  with  her  maids,  the  Captain  with  his  troop  at  another.  There  are 
seldom  less  than  fifty  or  sixty  persons  at  each  board,  but  not  more  than  three 
knives." 

are  Robin  and  Marion,  a  shepherd  and  shepherdess.  Mr.  Warton  thought  that  our  English  Marian 
might  be  illustrated  from  this  composition;  but  Mr.  Ritson  is  unwilling  to  assent  to  this  opinion, 
on  the  ground  that  the  French  Robin  and  Marion  'are  not  the  Robin  and  Marian  of  Sherwood.' 
Yet  Mr.  Warton  probably  meant  no  more  than  that  the  name  of  Marian  had  been  suggested  from 
the  above  drama,  which  was  a  great  favourite  among  the  common  people  in  France,  and  per- 
formed much  about  the  season  at  which  the  May  Games  were  celebrated  in  England.  The  great 
intercourse  between  the  countries  might  have  been  the  means  of  importing  this  name  amidst  an 
infinite  variety  of  other  matters;  and  there  is,  indeed,  no  other  mode  of  accounting  for  the  intro- 
duction of  a  name  which  never  occurs  in  the  page  of  English  History.  The  story  of  Robin  Hood 
was,  at  a  very  early  period,  of  a  dramatic  cast ;  and  it  was  perfectly  natural  that  a  principal  cha- 
racter should  be  transferred  from  one  drama  to  another.  It  might  be  thought,  likewise,  that  the 
English  Robin  deserved  his  Marian  as  well  as  the  other.  The  circumstance  of  the  French  Marian 
being  acted  by  a  boy  contributes  to  support  the  above  opinion ;  the  part  of  the  English  character 
having  been  personated,  though  not  always,  in  like  manner."] 


MORRIS    DANCERS. 

[Mr.  Douce  says,  "  it  appears  that  the  Lady  of  the  May  was  sometimes  car- 
ried in  procession  on  men's  shoulders ;  for  Stephen  Batman,  speaking  of  the 
Pope  and  his  ceremonies,  states  that  he  is  carried  on  the  backs  of  four  deacons, 
'after  the  maner  of  carying  Whytepot  Queenes  in  Western  May  Games f." 

Mr.  Douce  adds,  in  another  page,  "  There  can  be  no  doubt  that  the  Queen 
of  May  is  the  legitimate  representative  of  the  Goddess  Flora  in  the  Roman 
Festival.] 

IIOBTN    HOOD. 

Bishop  Latimer,  in  his  sixth  Sermon  before  King  Edward  the  Sixth,  men- 
tions Robin  Hood's  Day,  kept  by  country  people  in  memory  of  him.  "  I 
came  once  myself,"  says  he,  "  to  a  place,  riding  a  journey  homeward  from 
London,  and  sent  word  over-night  into  the  town  that  I  would  preach  there  in 
the  morning,  because  it  was  a  holy-day,  and  I  took  my  horse  and  my  company 
and  went  thither,  (I  thought  I  should  have  found  a  great  company  in  the 
church ;)  when  I  came  there,  the  church-door  was  fast  locked.  I  tarried  there 
half  an  hour  and  more;  at  last  the  key  was  found,  and  one  of  the  parish  comes 
tome,  and  says:  'This  is  a  busy  day  with  us,  we  cannot  heare  you,  this  is 
Robin  Hoode's  daye,  the  parish  is  gone  abroad  to  gather  for  Robin  Hoode. 
I  thought  my  rochet  should  have  been  regarded,  though  I  were  not:  but  it 
would  not  serve,  but  was  fayne  to  give  place  to  Robin  Hoode's 


f  In  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  for  October  1793,  p.  888,  there  is  a  curious  anecdote  of  Dr. 
Geddes,  the  well-known  translator  of  the  Bible,  who,  it  should  seem,  was  fond  of  innocent  festi- 
vities. He  was  seen  in  the  Summer  of  that  year,  "mounted  on  the  poles  behind  theQusEtt  of  tht 
MAY  at  Marsden  Fair,  in  Oxfordshire." 

g  In  Coates's  Histoiy  of  Reading,  p.  214,  in  the  Churchwardens'  Accounts  of  St.  Lawrence  Parish, 
under  the  year  1499,  is  the  following  article :  "  It.  rec.  of  the  gaderyng  of  Robyn-hod,  xixs." 

In  the  Churchwardens'  Accounts  of  St.  Helen's,  Abingdon,  under  the  year  1566,  we  find 
eighteen  pence  charged  for  setting  up  Robin  Hood's  bower.  See  Mr.  Nichols's  Illustrations  of 
Ancient  Manners  and  Expences,  p.  143. 

[Mr.  Douce  thinks  "  the  introduction  of  Robin  Hood  into  the  celebration  of  May,  probably  sug- 
gested the  addition  of  a  King  or  Lord  of  May."  The  Summer  King  and  Queen,  or  Lord  and  Lady 
of  the  May,  however,  are  characters  of  very  high  antiquity.  The  conversation  between  Robert 
Bruce  and  his  Queen,  in  1306,  has  been  already  quoted  from  Spelman :  and  even  in  the  Synod  at 
Worcester,  A.  D.  1240,  can.  38,  a  strict  command  was  given,  "  Ne  intersint  ludis  inhonestis  nee 


MORRIS    DANCERS.  213 

We  read,  in  Skene's  Regiam  Majestatem,  "Gif  anie  provest,  baillie,  coun- 
sell,  or  communitie,  chuse  Robert  Hude,  litell  John,  Abbat  of  Unreason, 
Queens  of  Mali,  the  chusers  sail  tyne  their  friedome  for  five  Zeares;  and  sail 
bee  punished  at  the  King's  will  :  and  the  accepter  of  sick  ane  office,  salbe 

sustineant  ludos fieri  de  REGE  et  REGINA,  nee  Arietes  levari,  nee  palestras  publicas."  See  Kennett's 
Paroch.  Antiq.  Gloss,  v.  Arietum  levatio. 

Ihre,  in  his  Suio-Gothic  Glossary,  makes  the  following  mention  of  the  King  or  Lord  of  May 
upon  the  Continent : 

"  MAIGREFWE  dicebatur,  qui  mense  Maijo  serto  floreo  redimitus  solenni  pompa  per  plateas  et 
vicos  circumducebatur.  Commemorant  Historic!,  Gustavum  I.  Suionum  Regem  anno  1526  sub 
nundinis  Ericianis  vel  d.  18.  Mali  ejusmodi  Comitem  Majum  creasse  Johannem  Magnum,  Archiep. 
Upsaliensem.  Et  quum  moris  esset,  ut  Comes  hie  imaginarius  satellitium,  quod  eum  stipaverat, 
convivio  exciperet,  fecit  id  Johannes  lion  sine  ingenti  impensa,  ut  ipse  in  Historia  Metropolitana 
conqueritur.  Conf.  Westenhielms  Hist.  Gust.  1.  ad  annum,  nee  non  Tegel  in  Historia  hujus  Reg. 
Part.  1.  In  Anglia  quoque  ejusmodi  Reges  et  Regime  Majales  floribus  ornati  a  juventute  olim 
creabantur,  quo  facto  circa  perticam  eminentiorem,  nostris  MAISTANG  dictam,  choreas  ducebant, 
&  varios  alios  ludos  exercebant."  torn.  ii.  p.  1  i8.  sub  D.] 

Mr.  Lysons,  in  his  Extracts  from  the  Churchwardens'  and  Chamberlains'  Accounts  at  Kingston- 
upon-Thames,  affords  us  some  curious  particulars  of  a  sport  called  the  "  Kyngham,"  or  KING- 
GAME. 

"Be  yt  in  mynd,  that  ye  19  yere  of  King  Harry  the  7,  at  the  geveng  out  of  the  Kynggam  by 
Harry  Bower  and  Harry  Nycol,  cherchewardens,  amounted  clerely  to  s£±.  2s.  6d.  of  that  same 
game."  =£.  s.  d. 

"  Mem.  That  the  27  day  of  Joun,  a°.  2 1 ,  Kyng  H.  7,  that  we,  Adam  Bakhous  and  Harry 

Nycol,  hath  made  account  for  the  Kenggam,  that  same  tym  don  Wylm  Kempe,  Kenge, 

and  Joan  Whytebrede,  quen,  and  all  costs  deducted        -  -  -450 

'•'23  Hen.  7.  Paid  for  whet  and  malt  and  vele  and  mottonand  pygges  and  ger  and  coks 

for  the  Kyngam  -         -  0  33     O 

To  the  taberare      -  -  ......068 

To  the  leutare  -  -  O  2  0 
1  Hen.  8.  Paid  out  of  the  Churche-box  at  Walton  Kyngham  -  -  -  0  3  6 
Paid"  to  Robert  Neyle  for  goyng  to  Wyndesore  for  maister  doctor's  horse 

agaynes  the  Kyngham  day    -  __-._.         -04O 

For  bakyng  the  Kyngham  brede  ...  ..-O06 

• To  a  laborer  for  bering  home  of  the  geere  after  the  Kyngham  was  don    -         -  0     1  0" 

The  contributions  to  the  celebration  of  the  same  game,  Mr.  Lysons  observes,  in  the  neighbour- 
ing parishes,  show  that  the  Kyngham  was  not  confined  to  Kingston.  See  Envir.  of  London, 
vol.  i.  p.  225. 

In  another  quotation  from  the  same  Accounts,  24  Hen.  VII.  the  "  cost  of  the  Kyngham  and 
Robyn-hode"  appears  in  one  entry,  viz. 


214  MORRIS    DANCERS. 

banished  furth  of  the  Realme."  And  under  "  pecuniall  crimes," — "all  persons, 
quha  a  land  wort,  or  within  burgh,  chuses  Robert  Hude,  sail  pay  ten  pounds, 
and  sail  be  warded  induring  the  King's  pleasure."  Mar.  Parl.  6.  c.  61h. 


FRIAK   TUCK. 


Mr.  Toilet  describes  this  character  upon  his  window  as  in  the  full  clerical 
tonsure,  with  a  chaplet  of  white  and  red  beads  in  his  right  hand  :  and,  expres- 
sive of  his  professed  humility,  his  eyes  are  cast  upon  the  ground.  His  corded 


£. 

*. 

d. 

"  A  kylderkin  of  3  halfpennye  here  and  a  kilderkin  of  singgyl  bere  0 

9 

4 

7  bushels 

ofwhete                      - 

-  O 

6 

3 

2  bushels 

and  ±  of  rye     - 

.  O 

1 

8 

3  shepe 



.  0 

5 

0 

A  lamb 



-  0 

1 

4 

2  calvys 

...... 

-  0 

5 

4 

6  pygges 



-  0 

s 

0 

3  bushell 

of  colys   -                                     -         - 

-  O 

0 

3 

The  coks 

for  their  labour 

-  0 

i 

111 

The  clear  profits,  15  Henry  VIII.  (the  last  time  Mr.  Lysons  found  it  mentioned,)  amounted  to 

s£9.  10s.  fid.  a  very  considerable  sum. 

In  a  comedy  by  Beaumont  and  Fletcher,  entitled  "The  Knight  of  the  burning  Pestle,"  4to. 

1613,  Rafe,  one  of  the  characters,  appears  as  Lord  of  the  May : 

"  And,  by  the  common-councell  of  my  fellows  in  the  Strand, 
With  gilded  staff,  and  crossed  skarfe,  the  May-Lord  here  I  stand." 
He  adds  : 

"The  Morrice  rings  while  Hobby  Horse  doth  foot  it  featously;" 

and,  addressing  the  groupe  of  citizens  assembled  around  him,  "  from  the  top  of  Conduit-head,"  says : 
"  And  lift  aloft  your  velvet  heads,  and,  slipping  of  your  govvne, 
With  bells  on  legs,  and  napkins  cleane  unto  your  shoulders  ti'de, 
With  scarfs  and  garters  as  you  please,  and  Hey  for  our  town  cry'd: 
March  out  and  shew  your  willing  minds,  by  twenty  and  by  twenty, 
To  Hogsdon  or  to  Newington,  where  ale  and  cakes  are  plenty. 
And  let  it  nere  be  said  for  shame,  that  we,  the  youths  of  London, 
Lay  thrumming  of  our  caps  at  home,  and  left  our  custome  undone. 
Up  then,  I  say,  both  young  and  old,  both  man  and  maid,  a  Maying, 
With  drums  and  guns  that  bounce  aloude,  and  merry  taber  playing." 

h  In  Sir  David  Dalrymple's  Extracts  from  the  Book  of  the  Universal  Kirk,  in  the  year  1576, 
Robin  Hood  is  styled  King  of  May. 


MORRIS    DANCERS. 

girdle  and  his  russet  habit  denote  him  to  be  of  the  Franciscan  Order,  or  one  of 
the  Grey  Friars.  His  stockings  are  red,  his  red  girdle  is  ornamented  with  a 
golden  twist,  and  with  a  golden  tassel.  At  his  girdle  hangs  a  wallet  for  the 
reception  of  provision,  the  only  revenue  of  the  mendicant  orders  of  religious, 
who  were  named  Walleteers,  or  Budget- bearers.  Mr.  Steevens  supposes  this 
Morris  Friar  designed  for  Friar  Tuck,  chaplain  to  Robin  Hood,  as  King  of 
May". 

THE    KOOL. 

Mr.  Toilet,  describing  the  Morris  Dancers  in  his  window,  calls  this  the  Coun- 

*  [Mr.  Douce  says :  "  Tnere  is  no  very  ancient  mention  of  this  person,  whose  history  is  very 
uncertain.     Draytor.  has  thus  recorded  him,  among  other  companions  of  Robin  Hood  : 

'  Of  Tuck,  the  merry  Friar,  which  many  a  sermon  made 
In  praise  of  Robin  Hood,  his  outlaws  and  their  trade.'     Polyolb.  Song  xxvi. 
He  is  known  to  have  formed  one  of  the  characters  in  the  May  Games  during  the  reign  of  Hemy 
the  Eighth,  and  had  been  probably  introduced  into  them  at  a  much  earlier  period.     From  the 
occurrence  of  this  name  on  other  occasions,  there  is  good  reason  for  supposing  that  it  was  a  sort 
of  generic  appellation  for  any  friar,  and  that  it  originated  from  the  dress  of  the  order,  which  was 
tucked  or  folded  at  the  waist  by  means  of  a  cord  or  girdle.     Thus  Chaucer,  in  his  Prologue  to  the 
Canterbury  Tales,  says  of  the  Reve  : 

'  Tucked  he  was,  as  is  a  frere  aboute :' 
and  he  describes  one  of  the  friars  in  the  Sompnour's  Tale : 

'  With  scrippe  and  tipped  staff,  ytucked  hie.' 

This  Friar  maintained  his  situation  in  the  Morris  under  the  reign  of  Elizabeth,  being  thus 
mentioned  in  Warner's  Albion's  England  : 

'  Tho'  Robin  Hood,  Hell  John,  frier  Tucke,  and  Marian,  deftly  play :' 

but  is  not  heard  of  afterwards.    In  Ben  Jonson's  Masque  of  Gipsies,  (Works,  1?56,  vol.  vi.  p.  93,) 
the  clown  takes  notice  of  his  omission  in  the  Dance."] 

The  Friar's  coat,  as  appears  from  some  of  the  extracts  of  Churchwardens'  and  Chamberlains' 
Accounts  of  Kingston,  already  quoted,  was  generally  of  russet.  In  an  antient  drama,  called  the 
Play  of  Robin  Hood,  very  proper  to  be  played  in  May  games,  a  friar,  whose  name  is  Tuck,  is  one 
of  the  principal  characters.  He  comes  to  the  forest  in  search  of  Robin  Hood,  with  an  intention  to 
fight  him,  but  consents  to  become  chaplain  to  his  Lady.  See  Lysons's  Environs  of  London, 
vol.  i.  p.  227. 

[Mr.  Toilet  observes  in  a  note,  that,  "  when  the  parish  priests  were  inhibited  by  the  diocesan 
to  assist  in  the  May-games,  the  FRANCISCANS  might  give  attendance,  as  being  exempted  from 
episcopal  jurisdiction."] 


216  MORRIS    DANCERS. 

terfeit  Fool,  that  was  kept  in  the  royal  palace,  and  in  all  great  houses,  to  make 
sport  for  the  family.  He  appears  with  all  the  badges  of  his  office ;  the  bauble 
in  his  hand,  and  a  coxcomb  hood,  with  asses  ears,  on  his  head.  The  top  of  the 
hood  rises  into  the  form  of  a  cock's  neck  and  headk,  with  a  bell  at  the  latter:  and 
Minshew's  Dictionary,  1627,  under  the  word  Cocks  comb,  observes,  that  "natu- 
ral idiots  and  fools  have  [accustomed]  and  still  do  accustome  themselves  to  weare 
in  their  cappes  cocke's  feathers,  or  a  hat  with  the  necke  and  head  of  a  cocke  on 
the  top,  and  a  bell  thereon."  His  hood  is  blue,  guarded  or  edged  with  yellow  at 
its  scalloped  bottom,  his  doublet  is  red,  striped  across,  or  rayed,  with  a 
deeper  red,  and  edged  with  yellow,  his  girdle  yellow,  his  left-side  hose  yellow, 
with  a  red  shoe,  and  his  right-side  hose  blue,  soled  with  red  leather. 

There  is  in  Olaus  Magnus,  1555,  p.  524,  a  delineation  of  a  Fool,  or  Jester, 
with  several  bells1  upon  his  habit,  with  a  bauble  in  his  hand  ;  and  he  has  on  his 
head  a  hood  with  asses  ears,  a  feather,  and  the  resemblance  of  the  comb  of  a 
cock. 

It  seems  from  the  Prologue  to  the  play  of  King  Henry  the  Eighth,  that 
Shakspeare's  Fools  should  be  dressed  "in  a  long  motley  coat,  guarded  with 
yellow™." 

k  "  The  word  Cockscomb  afterwards  was  used  to  denote  a  vain,  conceited,  meddling  fellow." 
Reed's  Shaksp.  8vo.  Lond.  1803,  vol.  xvii.  p.  358.  In  the  old  play,  called  "The  First  Part  of  An- 
tonio and  Melida,"  (Marston's  Works,  Svo.  Lond.  1633,)  we  read:  "Good  Faith,  He  accept  of 
the  Cockescombe,  so  you  will  not  refuse  the  Bable." 

1  In  the  Churchwardens'  Accounts  of  the  parish  of  St.  Helen's  in  Abingdon,  Berkshire,  from 
the  first  year  of  the  reign  of  Philip  and  Mary,  to  the  thirty-fourth  of  Queen  Elizabeth,  the  Mor- 
rice  bells  are  mentioned.  Anno  15(JO,  the  third  of  Elizabeth, — "  For  two  dossin  of  Morres  bells." 
As  these  appear  to  have  been  purchased  by  the  community,  we  may  suppose  the  diversion  of  the 
Morris  Dance  was  constantly  practised  at  their  public  festivals.  See  Reed's  Shaksp.  vol.  xiii.  p.  276. 
"  Bells  for  the  dancers"  have  been  already  noticed  from  the  Churchwardens'  Accounts  of  King- 
ston upon  Thames :  and  they  are  mentioned  in  those  of  St.  Mary  at  Hill,  in  the  City  of  London. 

[A  note  signed  HARRIS,  in  Mr.  Reed's  edition  of  Shakspeare,  ut  supra,  informs  us,  that "  Mor- 
rice  dancing,  with  bells  on  the  legs,  is  common  at  this  day  in  Oxfordshire  and  the  adjacent  coun- 
ties, on  May  Day,  Holy  Thursday,  and  Whitsun  Ales,  attended  by  the  Fool,  or,  as  he  is  generally 
'  called,  the  Squire,  and  also  a  Lord  and  Lady ;  the  latter,  most  probably,  the  Maid-Marian  men- 
tioned in  Mr.  Toilet's  note :  '  nor  is  the  Hobby  Horse  forgot'."] 
-01  In  "  The  Knave  of  Hearts,"  Signal.  B.  b.  we  read: 

"  My  sleeves  are  like  some  Morris-dansing  fellow, 
My  stockings,  IDBOT-LIKE,  red,  greene,  yellow." 


MORRIS    DANCERS.  217 

Mr,  Steevens  observes :  "  When  Fools  were  kept  for  diversion  in  great  fami- 
lies, they  were  distinguished  by  a  calf-skin  coat,  which  had  the  buttons  down 
the  back  ;  and  this  they  wore  that  they  might  be  known  for  fools,  and  escape 
the  resentment  of  those  whom  they  provoked  with  their  waggeries. 

"The  custom  is  still  preserved  in  Ireland  ;  and  the  Fool  in  any  of  the  legends 
which  the  mummers  act  at  Christmass  always  appears  in  a  calf's  or  cow's  skin." 

"The  properties  belonging  to  this  strange  personage,"  says  Mr.  Strutt,  "in 
the  early  times,  are  little  known  at  present;  they  were  such,  however,  as  recom- 
mended him  to  the  notice  of  his  superiors,  and  rendered  his  presence  a  sort  of 
requisite  in  the  houses  of  the  opulent."  According  to  "  the  Illuminators  of  the 
thirteenth  century,  he  bears  the  squalid  appearance  of  a  wretched  ideot, 
wrapped  in  a  blanket  which  scarcely  covers  his  nakedness,  holding  in  one  hand 
a  stick,  with  an  inflated  bladder  attached  to  it  by  a  cord,  which  answered  the 
purpose  of  a  bauble.  If  we  view  him  in  his  more  improved  state,  where  his 
clothing  is  something  better,  yet  his  tricks"  are  so  exceedingly  barbarous  and 
vulgar,  that  they  would  disgrace  the  most  despicable  Jack-Pudding  that  ever 
exhibited  at  Bartholomew  fair :  and  even  when  he  was  more  perfectly  equipped 
in  his  party-coloured  coat  and  hood,  and  completely  decorated  with  bells0,  his 
improvements  are  of  such  a  nature  as  seem  to  add  but  little  to  his  respectabi- 
lity., much  less  qualify  him  as  a  companion  for  kings  and  noblemen. 

"In  the  sixteenth  and  seventeenth  centuries,  the  Fool,  or  more  properly 
the  Jester,  was  a  man  of  some  ability;  and,  if  his  character  has  been  strictly 
drawn  by  Shakspeare  and  other  dramatic  writers,  the  entertainment  he  afforded 
consisted  in  witty  retorts  and  sarcastical  reflections;  and  his  licence  seems, 
upon  such  occasions,  to  have  been  very  extensive.  Sometimes,  however,  these 
gentlemen  overpassed  the  appointed  limits,  and  they  were  therefore  corrected  or 
discharged.  The  latter  misfortune  happened  to  Archibald  Armstrong,  Jester  to 
King  Charles  the  First.  The  wag  happened  to  pass  a  severe  jest  upon  Laud, 

n  "In  one  instance  he  is  biting  the  tail  of  a  dog,  and  seems  to  place  his  fingers  upon  his  body, 
as  if  he  were  stopping  the  holes  of  a  flute,  and  probably  moved  them  as  the  animal  altered  its  cry; 
The  other  is  riding  on  a  stick  with  a  bell,  having  a  blown  bladder  attached  to  it." 

0  "This  figure,"  referred  to  by  Mr.  Strutt,  "  has  a  stick  surmounted  with  a  bladder,  if  I  mis- 
take not,  which  is  in  lieu  of  a  bauble,  which  we  frequently  see  representing  a  fool's  head,  with 
hood'and  bells,  and  a  cock's  comb  upon  the  hood,  very  handsomely  carved.  William  Summers, 
Jester  to  Henry  the  Eighth,  was  habited  'in  a  motley  jerkin,  with  motley  hosen .'  History  of 
Jack  of  Newbury1." 

VOL.  I.  j.-  p 


218  MORRIS    DANCERS* 

Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  which  so  highly  offended  the  supercilious  prelate, 
that  he  procured  an  order  from  the  King  in  Council  for  his  discharge?." 

SCARLET,   STOKESLEY,    AND    LITTLE   JOHN. 

These  appear  to  have  been  Robin  Hood's  companions  from  the  following  old 

ballad : 

"  I  have  heard  talk  of  Robin  Hood 

Derry,  Deny,  Derry  down, 
And  of  brave  Little  John, 
Of  Friar  Tuck  and  Will  Scarlet, 
Stokesley  and  Maid  Marrian, 

Hey  down,"  &C.T 

Among  the  extracts  given  by  Mr.  Lysons  from  the  Churchwardens'  and 
Chamberlain's  Accounts  of  Kingston-upon-Thames,  an  entry  has  been  already 
quoted  "for  Little  John's  coter." 

f  Strutt's  Complete  View  of  the  Dress  and  Habits  of  the  People  of  England,  vol.  ii.  p.  313, 
PI.  Ixxi.  The  Order  for  Archy's  discharge  was  as  follows  :  "  It  is,  this  day,  (March  11,  A.D.  1637,) 
ordered  by  his  Majesty,  with  the  advice  of  the  Board,  that  Archibald  Armstrong,  the  King's  Fool, 
for  certain  scandalous  words  of  a  high  nature,  spoken  by  him  against  the  Lord  Archbishop  of 
Canterbury  his  Grace,  and  proved  to  be  uttered  by  him  by  two  witnesses,  shall  have  his  coat 
pulled  over  his  head,  and  be  discharged  the  King's  service,  and  banished  the  court ;  for  which  the 
Lord  Chamberlain  of  the  King's  household  is  prayed  and  required  to  give  order  to  be  executed." 
And  immediately  the  same  was  put  in  execution.  Rushworth's  Collections,  Part  II.  vol.  i.  p.  471. 
The  same  authority,  p.  470,  says  :  "  It  so  happened  that,  on  the  llth  of  the  said  March,  that 
Archibald,  the  King's  Fool,  said  to  his  Grace  the  Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  as  he  was  going  to 
the  Council-table,  '  Whea's  feule  now  ?  doth  not  your  Grace  hear  the  news  from  Striveling  about 
the  Liturgy  ?'  with  other  words  of  reflection :  this  was  presently  complained  of  to  the  Council, 
which  produced  the  ensuing  order." 

Bedlamer  was  a  name  for  a  Fool.  He  used  to  carry  a  horn.  Quaere  if  from  thence  the  expres- 
sion "  horn-mad."  See  a  Boulster  Lecture,  8vo.  Lond.  1640,  p.  242. 

«  Robin  Hood's  Golden  Prize,  Old  Ballads,  vol.  ii.  p.  121.  See  likewise  George  a  Green,  Pinner 
of  Wakefield,  a  comedy.  Old  Plays  published  1744,  vol.  i.  p.  211.  Grey's  Notes  on  Shakspeare, 
vol.  i.  p.  98. 

'  [Mr.  Douce  says,  Little  John  "  is  first  mentioned,  together  with  Robin  Hood,  by  Fordun  the 
Scottish  Historian,  who  wrote  in  the  fourteenth  century,  and  who  speaks  of  the  celebration  of  the 
story  of  these  persons  in  the  theatrical  performances  of  his  time,  and  of  the  minstrels'  songs  relat- 
ing to  them,  which  he  says  the  common  people  preferred  to  all  other  romances."  Illustrations  of 
Shakspeare,  vol.  ii.  p.  49.  See  also  Fordun's  Scotichronicon,  fol.  1759,  torn.  ii.  p.  104.] 


MORRIS    DANCERS.  219 


TOM   THE    PIPER   WITH   TABOR   AND    PIPE. 

Among  the  extracts  already  quoted  in  a  note  from  Mr.  Lysons's  Environs  of 
London,  there  is  one  entry  which  shews  that  the  Piper  was  sent  (probably  to 
make  collections)  round  the  country. 

Mr.  Toilet,  in  the  Description  of  his  Window,  says,  to  prove  No.  9  to  be 
Tom  the  Piper,  Mr.  Steevens  has  very  happily  quoted  these  lines  from  Dray- 
ton's  third  Eclogue : 

"  Myself  above  Tom  Piper  to  advance, 
Who  so  bestirs  him  in  the  Morris  Dance 
For  penny  wage." 

His  Tabour,  Tabour-stick,  and  Pipe,  attest  his  profession ;  the  feather  in  his 
cap,  his  sword,  and  silver-tinctured  shield*,  may  denote  him  to  be  a  squire- 
minstrel,  or  a  minstrel  of  the  superior  order.  Chaucer,  1721,  p.  181,  says: 
"  Minstrels  used  a  red  hat."  Tom  Piper's  bonnet  is  red,  faced,  or  turned  up 
with  yellow,  his  doublet  blue,  the  sleeves  blue,  turned  up  with  yellow,  some- 
thing like  red  muffettees  at  his  wrists,  over  his  doublet  is  a  red  garment,  like  a 
short  cloak  with  arm-holes,  and  with  a  yellow  cape,  his  hose  red,  and  gar- 
nished across  and  perpendicularly  on  the  thighs,  with  a  narrow  yellow  lace. 
His  shoes  are  brown. 


THE    HOBBY    HORSE. 

Mr.  Toilet,  in  his  Description  of  the  Morris  Dancers  in  his  Window,  is  in- 
duced to  think  the  famous  Hobby  Horse  to  be  the  King  of  the  May,  though 
he  now  appear  as  a  juggler  and  a  buffoon,  from  the  crimson  foot-cloth1  fretted 
with  gold,  the  golden  bit,  the  purple  bridle,  with  a  golden  tassel,  and  studded 

•  [Mr.  Douce  says :  "  What  Mr.  Tollett  has  termed  his  silver  shield  seems  a  mistake  for  the 
lower  part,  or  flap,  of  his  stomacher."     Illustr.  of  Shaksp.  vol.  ii.  p.  463.] 

'  The  foot-cloth,  however,  was  used  by  the  Fool.  In  Brathwaite's  Strappado  for  the  Divell,  al- 
ready ijuoted,  p.  30,  we  read  : 

"  Erect  our  aged  Fortunes  make  them  shine 
(Not  like  tlte  Foole  in'ifoot-cloath  but)  like  Time 
Adorn'd  with  true  Experiments,"  &c. 


220  MORIUS    DANCEHS. 

with  gold,  the  man's  purple  mantle  with  a  golden  border,  which  is  latticed 
with  purple,  his  golden  crown,  purple  cap,  with  a  red  feather  and  with  a  golden 
knop. 

"Our  Hobby,"  he  adds,  "is  a  spirited  horse  of  paste-board,  in  which 
the  master  dances  and  displays  tricks  of  legerdemain,  such  as  the  threading 
of  the  needle,  the  mimicking  of  the  whigh-hie,  and  the  daggers  in  the  nose,  &c. 
as  Ben  J.onson,  edit.  1756,  vol.  i.  p.  171,  acquaints  us,  and  thereby  explains 
the  swords  in  the  man's  cheeks.  What  is  stuck  in  the  horse's  mouth  I  appre- 
prehend  to  be  a  ladle,  ornamented  with  a  ribbon.  Its  use  was  to  receive  the 
spectators  pecuniary  donations."  "The  colour  of  the  Hobby  Horse  is  a  reddish 
white,  like  the  beautiful  blossom  of  the  peach-tree.  The  man's  coat,  or  doublet, 
is  the  only  one  upon  the  window  that  has  buttons  upon  it,  and  the  right  side  of 
it  is  yellow,  and  the  left  red." 

In  the  old  play  of  "  The  Vow-Breaker,  or  the  Fayre  Maid  of  Clifton,"  4to. 
Lond.  1636,  by  William  Sampson,  signal.  I.  2  b.  is  the  following  dialogue 
between  Miles,  the  Miller  of  Ruddington,  and  Ball,  which  throws  great  light 
upon  this  now  obsolete  character : 

"  Ball.  But  who  shall  play  the  Hobby  Horse  ?  Master  Major? 

"  Miles.  I  hope  I  looke  as  like  a  Hobby  Horse  as  Master  Major.  I  have 
not  liv'd  to  these  yeares,  but  a  man  woo'd  thinke  I  should  be  old  enough  and 
wise  enough  to  play  the  Hobby  Horse  as  well  as  ever  a  Major  on  'em  all.  Let 
the  Major  play  the  Hobby  Horse  among  his  brethren,  and  he  will;  I  hope  our 
towne  ladds  cannot  want  a  Hobby  Horse.  Have  I  practic'd  my  reines,  my 
carree'res,  my  pranckers,  my  ambles,  my  false  trotts,  my  smooth  ambles,  and 
Canterbury  paces,  and  shall  Master  Major  put  me  besides  the  Hobby  Horse  ? 
Have  I  borrow'd  the  fore  horse-bells,  his  plumes,  and  braveries,  nay,  had  his 
mane  new  shorne  and  frizl'd,  and'  shall  the  Major  put  me  besides  the  Hobby 
Horse?  Let  him  hobby-horse  at  home,  and  he  will.  Am  I  not  going  to  buy 
ribbons  and  toyes  of  sweet  Ursula  for  the  Marian,  and  shall  I  not  play  the 
Hobby  Horse? 

"  Ball.  What  shall  Joshua  doe  ? 

"  Miles.  Not  know  of  it,  by  any  meanes ;  hee'l  keepe  more  stir  with  the  Hobby 
Horse  then  he  did  with  the  Pipers  at  Tedbury  Bull-running :  provide  thou  for 
the  Dragon,  and  leave  me  for  a  Hobby  Horse. 


MOIIRIS    DANCERS.  221 

"  Ball.  Feare  not,  I'le  be  a  fiery  Dragon."  And  afterwards,  when  Boote 
askes  him : 

.it  ^  Miles,  the  Miller  of  Ruddington,  gentleman  and  souldier,  what  make  you 
bere  ? 

"  Miles.  Alas,  Sir,  to  borrow  a  few  ribbandes,  bracelets,  eare-rings,  wyer- 
tyers,  and  silke  girdles  and  hand-kerchers  for  a  Morice,  and  a  show  before  the 
Quecne. 

"Boote.  Miles,  you  came  to  steale  my  Neece. 

"Miles.  Oh  Lord!  Sir,  I  came  to  furnish  the  Hobby  Horse. 

"  Boote.  Get  into  your  Hobby  Horse,  gallop,  and  be  gon  then,  or  I'le  Moris- 
dance  you — Mistris,  waite  you  on  me.  Exit. 

"  Ursula.  Farewell,  good  Hobby  Horse. — IFeehee."     Exit. 

[Mr.  Douce  informs  us,  that  the  earliest  vestige  now  remaining  of  the  Hobby 
Horse  is  in  the  painted  window  at  Betley,  already  described.  "  The  allusions 
to  the  omission  of  the  Hobby  Horse  are  frequent  in  the  old  Plays,  and  the  line, 

'  For  O,  for  O,  the  Hobby  Horse  is  forgot,' 

is  termed  by  Hamlet  an  epitaph,  which  Mr.  Theobald  supposed,  with  great 
probability,  to  have  been  satirical."  A  scene  in  Beaumont  and  Fletcher's 
"Women  pleased,"  Act  iv.  best  shows  the  sentiments  of  the  Puritans  on  this 
occasion! 

"Whoever,"  says  Mr.  Douce,  "happens  to  recollect  the  manner  in  which 
Mr.  Bayes's  troops,  in  '  The  Rehearsal,'  are  exhibited  on  the  stage,  will  have  a 
tolerably  correct  notion  of  a  Morris  Hobby  Horse.  Additional  remains  of  the 
Pyrrhic,  or  sword-dance,  are  preserved  in  the  daggers  stuck  in  the  man's  cheeks, 
which  constituted  one  of  the  hocus-pocus  or  legerdemain  tricks  practised  by  this 
character,  among  which  were  the  threading  of  a  needle,  and  the  transferring  of 
an  egg  from  one  hand  to  the  other,  called  by  Ben  Jonson  the  travels  of' the  eggu. 
To  the  horse's  mou,th  was  suspended  a  ladle,  for  the  purpose  of  gathering  money 
from  the  spectators.  In  later  times  the  fool  appears  to  have  performed  this 
office,  as  may  be  collected  from  Nashe's  play  of  "  Summer's  last  Will  and  Tes- 
tament," where  this  stage-direction  occurs :  "  Ver  goqs  in  and  fetcheth  out  the 

' : '   "','"  '.    '          •'          <!'!  '•'    I      ';      .,       i'!l 1 -• ,   ,         'I r-TT — , — <• 


Every  Man  of  out  of  his  Humour,  Act  ii.  sc.  I. 


222  MORRIS  DANCERS. 

Hobby-horse  and  the  Morrice  Daunce,  who  daunce  about'  Ver  then  saya : 
'  About,  about,  lively,  put  your  horse  to  it,  reyne  him  harder,  jerke  him  with 
your  wand,  sit  fast,  sit  fast,  man;  Foole,  hold  up  your  ladle  there.'  Will 
Summers  is  made  to  say,  'You  friend  with  the  Hobby  Horse,  goe  not  too 
fast,  for  fear  of  wearing  out  my  lord's  tyle-stones  with  your  hob-nayles.'  After- 
wards there  enter  three  clowns  and  three  maids,  who  dance  the  Morris,  and  at 
the  same  time  sing  the  following  song : 

'  Trip  and  goe,  heave  and  hoe, 

Up  and  downe,  to  and  fro, 

From  the  towne,  to  the  grove, 

Two  and  two,  let  us  rove, 

A  Maying,  a  playing ; 

Love  hath  no  gainsaying  : 

So  merrily  trip  and  goe.' " 

Lord  Orford,  in  his  Catalogue  of  English  Engravers,  under  the  article  of 
Peter  Stent,  has  described  two  paintings  at  Lord  Fitzwilliam's,  on  Richmond 
Green,  which  came  out  of  the  old  neighbouring  palace.  They  were  executed 
by  Vinckenboom,  about  the  end  of  the  reign  of  James  I.,  and  exhibit  views  of 
the  above  palace :  in  one  of  these  pictures  a  Morris  Dance  is  introduced,  con- 
sisting of  seven  figures,  viz.  a  fool,  a  Hobby-horse,  a  piper,  a  Maid  Marian,  and 
three  other  dancers,  the  rest  of  the  figures  being  spectators."  Of  these,  the  first 
four  and  one  of  the  dancers  Mr.  Douce  has  reduced  in  a  plate  from  a  tracing 
made  by  the  late  Captain  Grose.  "  The  fool  has  an  inflated  bladder,  or  eel- 
skin,  with  a  ladle  at  the  end  of  it,  and  with  this  he  is  collecting  money.  The 
piper  is  pretty  much  in  his  original  state;  but  the  hobby-horse  wants  the  leger- 
demain apparatus,  and  Maid  Marian  is  not  remarkable  for  the  elegance  of  her 
person." 

"  A  short  time  before  the  Revolution  in  France,"  Mr.  Douce  informs  us, 
"  the  May  games  and  Morris  Dance  were  celebrated  in  many  parts  of  that 
country,  accompanied  by  a  fool  and  a  Hobby-horse.  The  latter  was  termed  un 
chevalet;  and,  if  the  authority  of  Minshew  be  not  questionable,  the  Spaniards 
had  the  same  character  under  the  name  of  tarasca  *." 

*  Illustrations  of  Shakspeare  and  of  Ancient  Manners,  vol.  ii.  pp.  463,  468,  471. 


223 


ST.  URBAN'S  DAY. 
(Twenty-fifth  of  May.) 

UNDER  Saint  Paul's  Day,  I  have  shown  that  it  is  customary  in  many  parts 
of  Germany  to  drag  the  image  of  St.  Urban  to  the  river,  if  on  the  day  of  his 
feast  it  happens  to  be  foul  weather. 

J.  B.  Aubanus  tells  us,  that  "  upon  St.  Urban's  Day  all  the  vintners  and 
masters  of  vineyards  set  a  table  either  in  the  market-steed,  or  in  some  other 
open  and  public  place,  and  covering  it  with  fine  napery,  and  strawing  upon  it 
greene  leaves  and  sweete  flowers,  do  place  upon  the  table  the  image  of  that 
holy  bishop,  and  then  if  the  day  be  cleare  and  faire,  they  crown  the  image  with 
greate  store  of  wine ;  but  if  the  weather  prove  rugged  and  rainie,  they  cast  filth^ 
mire,  and  puddle  water  upon  it;  persuading  themselves  that,  if  that  day  be  faire 
and  calme,  their  grapes,  which  then  begin  to  flourish,  will  prove  good  that  year; 
but  if  it  be  stormie  and  tempestuous,  they  shall  have  a  bad  vintage."  p.  282. 

The  same  anecdote  is  related  in  the  Regnum  Papisticum  of  Naogeorgus. 


ROYAL  OAK  DAY. 

ON  the  twenty-ninth  of  May  a,  the  anniversary  of  the  Restoration  of  Charles 
the  Second,  it  is  still  customary,  especially  in  the  North  of  England,  for  the 

a  "May  the  29th,  (says  the  author  of  the  Festa  Anglo-Romana,  12mo.  Lend.  1678,)  is  celebrated 
upon  a  double  account ;  first,  in  commemoration  of  the  birth  of  our  sovereign  king  Charles  the 
Second,  the  princely  son  of  his  royal  father  Charles  the  First  of  happy  memory,  and  Mary  the  daughter 


f 
224  ROYAL    OAK    DAY. 

common  people  to  wear  in  their  hats  the  leaves  of  the  oak,  which  are  some- 
times covered  on  the  occasion  with  leaf-gold. 

This  is  done,  as  every  body  knows,  in  commemoration  of  the  marvellous  escape 
of  that  monarch  from  those  that  were  in  pursuit  of  him,  who  passed  under  the 
very  Oak  tree  in  which  he  had  secreted  himself,  after  the  decisive  battle  of 
Worcester  b. 

I  remember  the  boys  at  Newcastle  upon  Tyne  had  formerly  a  taunting  rhime 
on  this  occasion,  with  which  they  used  to  insult  such  persons  as  they  met  on  this 
day  who  had  not  oak-leaves  in  their  hats : 

"  Royal  Oak, 

The  Whigs  to  provoke." 

There  was  a  retort  courteous  by  others,  who  contemptuously  wore  plane-tree 
leaves,  which  is  of  the  same  homely  sort  of  stuff: 
"  Plane-tree  leaves ; 
The  Church-folk  are  thieves." 

Puerile  and  low  as  these  and  such  like  sarcasms  may  appear,  yet  they  breathe 
strongly  that  party-spirit  which  they  were  intended  to  promote,  and  which  it  is 


of  Henry  the  Fourth,  the  French  king,  who  was  born  the  29th  day  of  May  1630 ;  and  also,  by  Act  of 
Parliament,  12  'Car.  II.  by  the  passionate  desires  of  the  people,  in  memory  of  his  most  happy 
Restoration  to  his  crown  and  dignity,  after  twelve  years  forced  exile  from  his  undoubted  right, 
the  crown  of  England,  by  barbarous  rebels  and  regicides.  And  on  the  8th  of  this  month,  his 
Majesty  was  with  universal  joy  and  great  acclamations  proclaimed  in  London  and  Westminster, 
and  after  throughout  all  his  dominions.  The  16th  he  came  to  the  Hague ;  the  23d,  with  his  two 
brothers,  ernbarqued  for  England ;  and  on  the  25th  he  happily  landed  at  Dover,  being  received 
by  General  Monk  and  some  of  the  army ;  from  whence  he  was,  by  several  voluntary  troops  of  the 
nobility  and  gentry,  waited  upon  to  Canterbury;  and  on  the  29th,  1660,  he  made  his  magnificent 
entrance  into  that  emporium  of  Europe,  his  stately  and  rich  metropolis,  the  renowned  city  of 
London.  On  this  very  day  also,  anno  1662,  the  king  came  to  Hampton  Court  with  his  queen  Ca- 
therine, after  his  marriage  at  Portsmouth.  This,  as  it  is  his  birth-day,  is  one  of  his  collar-days, 
without  offering."  p.  66. 

b  "  It  was  the  custom,  some  years  back,  to  decorate  the  monument  of  Richard  Penderell  (in 
the  church-yard  of  St.  Giles  in  the  Fields,  London),  on  the  29th  of  May,  with  oak  branches ;  but, 
in  proportion  to  the  decay  of  popularity  in  kings,  this  practice  has  declined."  Caulfield's  Memoirs 
of  remarkable  Persons,  p.  186.  Had  Mr.  Caulfield  attributed  the  decline  of  this  custom  to  the 
inch-easing  distance  of  time  from  the  event  that  first  gave  rise  to  it,  he  would  perhaps  have  come 
much  nearer  to  the  truth. 


ROYAL   OAK    DAY.  225 

the  duty  of  every  good  citizen  and  real  lover  of  his  country  to  endeavour  to 
suppress0. 

The  Royal  Oak  was  standing  in  Dr.  Stukeley's  time d,  inclosed  with  a  brick 
wall,  but  almost  cut  away  in  the  middle  by  travellers,  whose  curiosity  led  them 

c  The  party  spirit  on  this  occasion  shewed  itself  very  early :  for,  in  the  curious  tract,  entitled, 
"  The  Lord's  loud  Call  to  England,"  published  by  H.  Jessey,  4to,  1660,  p.  29,  we  read  of  the 
following  judgement,  as  related  by  the  Puritans,  on  an  old  woman  for  her  loyalty. 

"  An  antient  poor  woman  went  from  Wapping  to  London  to  buy  flowers,  about  the  6th  or  7th  of 
May  1660,  to  make  garlands  for  the  day  of  the  king's  proclamation  (that  is,  May  8th),  to  gather  the 
youths  together  to  dance  for  the  garland }  and  when  she  had  bought  the  flowers,  and  was  going 
homewards,  a  cart  went  over  part  of  her  body,  and  bruised  her  for  it,  just  before  the  doors  of  such 
as  she  might  vex  thereby.  But  since,  she  remains  in  a  great  deal  of  misery  by  the  bruise  she  had 
gotten,  and  cryed  out,  the  devil !  saying,  the  devil  had  owed  her  a  shame,  and  now  thus  he  had 
paid  her.  It's  judged  at  the  writing  hereof  that  she  will  never  overgrow  it." 

I  find  a  note  too  in  my  MS  Collections,  but  forget  the  authority,  to  the  following  effect :  "  Two. 
•oldiers  were  whipped  almost  to  death,  and  turned  out  of  the  service,  for  wearing  boughs  in  their 
hats  on  the  29th  of  May  1716." 

d  "  A  bow-shoot  from  Boscobel-house,"  says  Dr.  Stukeley,  in  his  Itinerarium  Curiosum,  fol.  Lond. 
1724.  Iter.  iii.  p.  57,  "just  by  a  horse-track  passing  through  the  wood,  stood  the  Royal  Oak,  into 
which  the  king;  and  his  companion,  colonel  Carlos,  climbed  by  means  of  the  hen-roost  ladder,  when 
they  judg'd  it  no  longer  safe  to  stay  in  the  house ;  the  family  reaching  them  victuals  with  the  nut- 
hook.  The  tree  is  now  enclosed  in  with  a  brick  wall,  the  inside  whereof  is  covered  with  lawrel, 
of  which  we  may  say,  as  Ovid  did  of  that  before  the  Augustan  palace,  '  mediatnque  tuebere  quer- 
cum.'  Close  by  its  side  grows  a  young  thriving  plant  from  one  of  its  acorns.  Over  the  door  of 
tlie  inclosure,  I  took  this  inscription  in  marble : 

"  Felicissimam  arborem  quam  in  asylum 
potentissimi  Regis  Caroli  II.  Deus  O.  M. 
per  quern  reges  regnant  hie  crescere 
voluit,  tain  in  perpetuam  rei  tantse  memo- 
riam,  quam  specimen  firmse  in  reges 
iick'i,  muro  cinctam  posteris  commendant 
Basilius  et  Jana  Fitzherbert. 

Quercus  amica  Jovi." 

K  '!  l:i  ••fT'j'E  VI 

In  "  Carolina,  or  Loyal  Poems,"  by  Thomas  Shipman,  esq.  8vo,  Lond.  1683,  p.  53,  are  the  fol- 
lowing Thoughts  on  this  Subject : 

"  Blest  Charles  then  to  an  oak  his  safety  owes ; 

The  Royal  Oak !  which  now  in  songs  shall  live. 
Until  it  reach  to  Heaven  with  its  boughs ; 

Boughs  that  for  loyalty  shall  garlands  give. 
VOL.    I.  G  G 


226'  KOYAL    OAK    DAV. 

to  see  it.  The  king,  after  the  Restoration,  reviewing  the  place,  carried  some  of 
the  acorns,  and  set  them  in  St.  James's  Park  or  Garden,  and  used  to  water  them 
himself. 


WHITSUNTIDE. 


WHITSUN-ALE. 

FOR  the  church  ale,  says  Carcw,  in  his  Survey  of  Cornwall,  p.  68,  ' '  two 
young  men  of  the  parish  are  yerely  chosen  by  their  last  foregoers  to  be  wardens, 
who,  dividing  the  task,  make  collection  among  the  parishioners  of  whatsoever 
provision  it  pleaseth  them  voluntarily  to  bestow.  This  they  employ  in  brewing, 
baking,  and  other  acates,  against  Whitsontide ;  upon  which  holydays  the  neigh- 
bours meet  at  the  church  house,  and  there  merily  feed  on  their  owne  victuals, 
contributing  some  petty  portion  to  the  stock,  which,  by  many  smalls,  groweth  to 
a  meetly  greatnes :  for  there  is  entertayned  a  kind  of  emulation  between  these 
wardens,  who  by  his  graciousness  in  gathering,  and  good  husbandry  in  expending, 
can  best  advance  the  churches  profit.  Besides  the  neighbour  parishes  at  those 
times  lovingly  visit  one  another,  and  this  way  frankly  spend  their  money  together. 
The  afternoones  are  consumed  in  such  exercises  as  olde  and  yong  folke  (having 
leysure)  doe  accustomably  weare  out  the  time  withall. 


Let  celebrated  wits,  with  laurels  crown' d, 

And  wreaths  of  bays,  boast  their  triumphant  brows ; 

I  will  esteem  myself  far  more  renown'd 

In  being  .honour'd  with  these  oaken  boughs. 

The  Genii  of  the  Druids  hover'd  here, 

Who  under  oaks  did  Britain's  glories  sing ; 

Which,  since,  in  Charles  compleated  did  appear : 
They  gladly  came  now  to  protect  their  king." 


WHITSUNTIDE.  227 

"When  the  feast  is  ended,  the  wardens  yeeld  in  their  account  to  the  pa- 
rishioners ;  and  such  money  as  exceedeth  the  disburstnent  is  layd  up  in  store,  to 
defray  any  extraordinary  charges  arising  in  the  parish,  or  imposed  on  them  for 
the  good  of  the  countrey  or  the  prince's  service :  neither  of  which  commonly 
gripe  so  much,  but  that  somewhat  stil  remayneth  to  cover  the  purse's  bottom." 

The  Whitsun-ales  have  been  already  mentioned  as  common  in  the  vicinity  of 
Oxford. 

There  lies  before  me,  "A  serious  Dissuasive  against  Whitsun  Ales,  as  they 
are  commonly  so  called :  or  the  publick  Diversions  and  Entertainments  which 
are  usual  in  the  Country  at  Whitsuntide :  in  a  Letter  from  a  Minister  to  his 
Parishioners  in  the  Deanery  of  Stow,  Gloucestershire."  4to,  1736.  Twenty 
pages. 

At  p.  8,  we  read :  "  These  sports  are  attended  usually  with  ludicrous  gestures, 
and  acts  of  foolery  and  buffoonry — but  children's  play,  and  what  therefore 
grownup  persons  should  be  ashamed  of."  "Morris  Dances,  so  called,  are 
nothing  else  but  reliques  of  Paganism."  "  It  was  actually  the  manner  of  the 
heathens,  among  other  their  diversions,  to  dance  after  an  antick  way  in  their 
sacrifices  and  worship  paid  to  their  gods;  as  is  the  fashion  of  those  who  now- 
a-days  dance  round  about  their  idol  the  May-pole  as  they  call  it.  Hence  the 
ancient  Fathers  of  the  Christian  Church,  as  they  did  rightly  judge  it  to  be  sinful 
to  observe  any  reliques  of  Paganism,  so  they  did  accordingly,  among  other  prac- 
tices of  the  heathens,  renounce  Morris  Dances."  Our  author  adds  in  the  Post- 
script :  "  What  I  have  now  been  desiring  you  to  consider,  as  touching  the  evil  and 
pernicious  consequences  of  WHITSUN-ALES  among  us,  doth  also  obtain  against 
Dovers  Meeting,  and  other  the  noted  places  of  publick  resort  of  this  nature  in 
this  country  ;  and  also  against  Midsummer  Ales  and  Mead-mowings;  and  like- 
wise against  the  ordinary  violations  of  those  festival  seasons  commonly  called 
Wakes.  And  these  latter  in  particular  have  been  oftentimes  the  occasion  of 
the  profanation  of  the  Lord's  Day,  by  the  bodily  exercise  of  wrestling  and 
cudgel-playing,  where  they  have  been  suffered  to  be  practised  on  that  holyday*." 
— _  .  __ 

a  In  Coates's  History  of  Reading,  4to,  18O2,  p.  130,  under  Churchwarden's  Accounts,  St.  Mary's 
parish,  we  find  the  following : 

"  A.D.  1557.  Item,  payed  to  the  Morrys  Daunsers  and  the  Mynstrelles,  mete  and  drink  at 
Whytsontide.,  iijs.  iiijd." 


228  WHITSUNTIDE. 

"At  present,"  says  Mr.  Douce b,  "  the  Whitson-ales  are  conducted  in  the 
following  manner.  TVo  persons  are  chosen,  previously  to  the  meeting,  to  be 
lord  and  lady  of  the  ale,  who  dress  as  suitably  as  they  can  to  the  characters  they 
assume.  A  large  empty  barn,  or  some  such  building,  is  provided  for  the  lord's 
hall,  and  fitted  up  with  seats  to  accommodate  the  company.  Here  they  assemble 
to  dance  and  regale  in  the  best  manner  their  circumstances  and  the  place  will 
afford  •  and  each  young  fellow  treats  his  girl  with  a  ribband  or  favour.  The  lord  and 
lady  honour  the  hall  with  their  presence,  attended  by  the  steward,  sword-bearer, 
purse-bearer,  and  mace-bearer,  with  their  several  badges  or  ensigns  of  office. 
They  have  likewise  a  train-bearer  or  page,  and  a  fool  or  jester,  drest  in  a  party- 
coloured  jacket,  whose  ribaldry  and  gesticulation  contribute  not  a  little  to  the 
entertainment  of  some  part  of  the  company.  The  lord's  music,  consisting  of  a 
pipe  and  tabor,  is  employed  to  conduct  the  dance.  Some  people  think  this 
custom  is  a  commemoration  of  the  antient  Drink-lean,  a  day  of  festivity  for- 
merly observed  by  the  tenants  and  vassals  of  the  lord  of  the  fee  within  his 
manor;  the  memory  of  which,  on  account  of  the  jollity  of  those  meetings,  the 
people  have  thus  preserved  ever  since0.  The  glossaries  inform  us,  that  this 
Drink-lean  was  a  contribution  of  tenants  towards  a  potation  or  Ale  provided  to 
entertain  the  lord  or  his  steward." 

Mr.  Douce  previously  observes  that,  "  concerning  the  etymology  of  the 
word  Ale  much  pains  have  been  taken,  for  one  cannot  call  it  learning.  The 

Also,  p.  216.  Parish  of  St.  Laurence,  "  A.  D.  1502.  It.  payed  to  Will'm  Stayn'  for  makyng  up 
of  the  mayclen's  ban'  cloth,  viijd."  "  A.  D.  1504.  It.  payed  for  bred  and  ale  spent  to  the  use  of 
the  church  at  Whitsontyd,  ijs.  vjd  ob.  It.  for  wyne  at  the  same  tyme,  xiiijd."  "  A.  D.  1505.  It. 
rec.  of  the  mayden's  gaderyng  at  Whitsontyde  by  the  tre  at  the  church  dore,  clerly  ijs.  vjd.  It.  rec. 
of  Richard  Waren,  for  the  tre  at  the  church  dore,  iijd." 

Ibid.  p.  378.  Parish  of  St.  Giles,  sub  anno  1535.  "  Of  the  Kyng  play  at  Whitsuntide,  xxxvjs. 
tiijd." 

This  last  entry  probably  alludes  to  something  of  the  same  kind  with  the  Kyngham,  already  men- 
tioned in  p.  213.  In  p.  214  of  Mr.  Coates's  History,  parish  of  St.  Laurence,  we  read :  "  A.  D.  1499. 
It.  payed  for  horse  mete  to  the  horses  for  the  kyngs  of  Colen  on  May-day,  vjd."  A  note  adds : 
"  This  was  a  part  of  the  pageant  called  the  King-play,  or  King-game,  which  was  a  representation 
of  the  Wise  Men's  Offering,  who  are  supposed  by  the  Romish  Church  to  have  been  kings,  and  to 
have  been  interred  at  Cologne."  Then  follows  .  "  It.  payed  to  mynstrells  the  same  day,  xijd." 

b  Description  of  Sculptures  on  the  outside  of  St.  John's  church,  Cirencester,  in  Carter's  Antient 
Sculpture,  &c.  vol.  ii.  p.  10. 

•  See  Rudder's  History  of  Gloucestershire,  fol.  Cirenc.  1779.  pp.  23,  24. 


WHITSUNTIDE.  229 

best  opinion  however  seems  to  be  that,  from  its  use  in  composition,  it  means 
nothing  more  than  a  feast  or  merry-making,  as  in  the  words  Leet-Ale,  Lamb- 
Ale,  Whitson-Ale,  Clerk-Ale,  Bride-Ale,  Church-Ale,  Scot-Ale,  Midsummer- 
Ale,  &c.  d  At  all  these  feasts,  Ale  appears  to  have  been  the  predominant  liquor, 
and  it  is  exceedingly  probable  that  from  this  circumstance  the  metonymy  arose. 
Dr.  Hickes  informs  us  that  the  Anglo-Saxon  Deol,  the  Dano-Saxon  lol,  and  the 
Icelandic  Ol,  respectively  have  the  same  meaning ;  and  perhaps  Christmas  was 
called  by  our  Northern  ancestors  Yule,  or  the  Feast,  by  way  of  preeminence." 
He  cites  here  Warton's  History  of  Poetry,  vol.  iii.  p.  128,  and  Junius's  Etymo- 
logicon  Anglicum,  voce  Yeol.  Mr.  Douce  is  of  opinion  that  Warton  has  con- 
founded Church-Ales  with  Saints  Feasts  e. 

d  In  Sir  Richard  Worsley's  History  of  the  Isle  of  Wight,  p.  210,  speaking  of  the  parish  of  Whit- 
well,  he  tells  us,  that  there  is  a  lease  in  the  parish  chest,  dated  15*4,  "  of  a  house  called  the 
church  house,  held  by  the  inhabitants  of  Whitwell,  parishioners  of  Gatcombe,  of  the  lord  of  the 
manor,  and  demised  by  them  to  John  Brode,  in  which  is  the  following  proviso :  Provided  always, 
that,  if  the  Quarter  shall  need  at  any  time  to  make  a  Quarter-Ale,  or  Church- Me,  for  the  main- 
tenance of  the  chapel,  that  it  shall  be  lawful  for  them  to  have  the  use  of  the  said  house,  with  all  the 
rooms,  both  above  and  beneath,  during  their  Ale." 

It  appears  from  a  Sermon  made  at  Blanford  Forum,  in  the  Countie  of  Dorset,  on  Wensday  the 
17th  of  January  157O,  by  William  Kethe,  8vo,  that  it  was  the  custom  at  that  time  for  the  Church 
Ales  to  be  kept  upon  the  sabbath-day ;  which  holy  day,  says  our  author,  "  the  multitude  call  their 
revelyng  day,  which  day  is  spent  in  bulbeatings,  bearebeatings,  bowlings,  dicyng,  cardyng,  daun- 
synges,  drunkennes,  and  whoredome,"  "  in  so  much,  as  men  could  not  keepe  their  servauntes  from, 
lyinge  out  of  theyr  owne  houses  the  same  sabbath-day  at  night." 

For  Scot-Ales,  Give-Ales,  Leet-AIes,  Bride-Ales,  Clerk-Ales,  &c.  see  the  Archteologia,  vol.  xii. 
p.  11—17. 

c  Stubs,  in  his  "  Anatomic  of  Abuses,  8vo,  1585,  p.  95,  gives  the  following  account  of '"  The 
Maner  of  Church-Ales  in  England." 

"  In  ceftaine  townes  where  dronken  Bacchus  beares  swaie,  against  Christmas  and  Easter, 
Whitsondaie,  or  some  other  tyme,  the  churchewardens  of  every  parishe,  with  the  consent  of  the 
whole  parishe,  provide  halfe  a  score  or  twenty  quarters  of  mault,  wherof  some  they  buy  of  the 
churche  stocke,  and  some  is  given  them  of  the  parishioners  themselves,  every  one  conferring  some- 
what, according  to  his  abilitie;  whiche  mault  being  made  into  very  strong  ale  or  beere,  is  sette 
to  sale,  either  in  the  church  or  some  other  place  assigned  to  that  purpose.  Then  when  this  is  set 
abroche,  well  is  he  that  can  gette  the  soonest  to  it,  and  spend  the  most  at  it. — In  this  kinde  of  prac- 
tice they  continue  sixe  weekes,  a  quarter  ef  a  yeare,  yea,  halfe  a  year  together."  "  That  money, 
they  say,  is  to  repaire  their  churches  and  chappels  with,  to  buy  bookes  for  service,  cuppes  for  the 
celebration  of  the  Sacrament,  surplesscs  for  sir  John,  and  such  other  necessaries.  And  they  main- 
taine  other  extraordinarie  charges  in  their  Parish  besides." 


230  WHITSUNTIDE. 

In  the  Introduction  to  the  Survey  and  Natural  History  of  the  North  Division 

"At  a  Vestry  held  at  Brentford,  in  1621,  several  articles  were  agreed  upon  with  regard  to  the 
management  of  the  parish  stock  by  the  chapel- wardens.  The  preamble  stated,  that  the  inhabitants 
had  for  many  years  been  accustomed  to  have  meetings  at  Whitsontide,  in  their  church-house  and 
other  places  there,  in  friendly  manner  to  eat  and  drink  together,  aud  liberally  to  spend  their 
monies,  to  the  end  neighbourly  society  might  be  maintained;  and  also  a  common  stock  raised  for 
the  repairs  of  the  church,  maintaining  of  orphans,  placing  poor  children  in  service,  and  defraying 
other  charges."  "  In  the  Accompts  for  the  Whitsontide  Ale  1624,  the  gains  are  thus  discrimi- 
nated :  gg.  s.  d. 

Imprimis,  cleared  by  the  pigeon  holes         -     4  19     0 

by  hocking    -  -737 

• by  riffeling     -  -     2     0     0 

by  victualling         -         -     8     0    2 


22     2     9 

The  hocking  occurs  almost  every  year  till  1640,  when  it  appears  to  have  been  dropt.  It  was  col- 
lected at  Whitsuntide. 

1618.  Gained  with  hocking  at  'Whitsuntide  gg.lS.  12*.  3d. 

The  other  games  were  continued  two  years  later.  Riffeling  is  synonymous  with  raffling."  Lysons's 
Environs  of  London,  vol.  ii.  j>.  55.  In  p.  .54.,  are  the  following  Extracts  from  the  Chapel  Warden's 
Account  Books : 


& 

s. 

d. 

"  1620.  Paid  for  6  boules        -                  ------ 

-     0 

0 

8 

-     0 

0 

6 

-     0 

1 

6 

1621. 

Paid  to  her  that  was  LADY  at  Whitsontide,  by  consent 

-     0 

5 

0 

Good  wife  Ansell,  for  the  pigeon  holes     -         -         -         -         - 

-    o 

1 

6 

Paid  for  the  Games                  ---,___ 

-    1 

1 

O 

1629. 

Received  of  Robert  Bicklye,  for  the  use  of  our  Games 

-    o 

2 

O 

Of  the  said  R.  B.  for  a  silver  bar  which  was  lost  at  Elyng  -        - 

-     0 

3 

6 

1634. 

Paid  for  the  silver  Games        ------- 

-     0 

11 

8 

1643. 

Paid  to  Thomas  Powell,  for  pigeon  holes           - 

-     0 

2 

0" 

The  following  occur  in  the  Churchwardens  Books  at  Chiswick : 

"  1622.  Cleared  at  Whitsuntide -         _         -50O 

Paid  for  making  a  newe  pair  of  pigeing-holes        -         -        -         -         -O26" 

Ibid.  vol.  ii.  p.  221. 

At  a  Court  of  the  Manor  of  Edgware,  in  1555,  "  it  was  presented  that  the  butts  at  Edgware  were 
very  ruinous,  and  that  the  inhabitants  ought  to  repair  them ;  which  was  ordered  to  be  done  before 
the  ensuing  Whitsontide." 

"  Sir  William  Blackstone  says,  that  it  was  usual  for  the  lord  of  this  manor  to  provide  a  minstrel 


WHITSUNTIDE.  231 

of  the  County  of  Wiltshire,  by  J.  Aubrey,  esq. f  at  page  32  is  the  following  cu- 
rious account  of  Whitsun  Ales  :  "  There  were  no  Rates  for  the  poor  in  my 
grandfather's  days ;  but  for  Kingston  St  Michael  (no  small  parish)  the  Church- 
Ale  of  Whitsuntide  did  the  business.  In  every  parish  is  (or  was)  a  church 
house,  to  which  belonged  spits,  crocks,  £c.  utensils  for  dressing  provision. 
Here  the  housekeepers  met  and  were  merry,  and  gave  their  charity.  The  young 
people  were  there  too,  and  had  dancing,  bowling,  shooting  at  butts,  &c.,  the 
ancients  sitting  gravely  by,  and  looking  on.  All  things  were  civil,  and  without 
scandal.  The  Church-Ale  is  doubtless  derived  from  the  AyaTrou,  or  Love  Feasts, 
mentioned  in  the  New  Testament^." 

The  following  lines  on  Whitsunday  occur  in  Barnabe  Googe's  translation  of 
Naogeorgus : 

"  On  Whitsunday  whyte  pigeons  tame  in  strings  from  heauen  flier 

And  one  that  framed  is  of  wood  still  hangeth  in  the  skie. 

Thou  seest  how  they  with  Idols  play,  'and  teach  the  people  to ; 

None  otherwise  then  little  gyrles  with  pvppets  vse  to  do  b."    fo.  53.  b. 

or  piper  for  the  diversion  of  the  tenants  while  they  were  employed  in  his  service."  Ibid, 
vol.  ii.  p.  244. 

(  Miscellanies  on  several  curious  Subjects,  8vo,  Lond.  printed  for  E.  Curll,  1714. 

£  He  adds:  "Mr.  A.  Wood  assures,  that  there  were  no  almshouses,  at  least  they  were  very 
scarce,  before  the  Reformation  ;  that  over  against  Christ  Church,  Oxon.  is  one  of  the  ancicntest. 
In  eveiy  church  was  a  poor  man's  box,  but  I  never  remembered  the  use  of  it ;  nay,  there  was 
one  at  great  inns,  as  I  remember  it  was  before  the  wars.  These  were  the  days  when  England 
was  famous  for  the  grey  goose  quills." 

h  Among  the  antient  annual  church  disbursements  of  St.  Mary  at  Hill,  in  the  city  of  London,  I 
find  the  following  entiy  :  "Garlands,  Whitsunday,  iijd."  Sometimes  also  tlie  subsequent :  "  Water 
for  the  Funt  on  Whitson  Eve,  id."  This  is  explained  by  the  following  extract  from  Strutt's  Manners 
and  Customs,  vol.  iii.  p.  1/4.  "  Among  many  various  ceremonies,  I  find  that  they  had  one  called 
*  the  Font  hallowing,'  which  was  performed,  on  Easter  Even  and  Whitsunday  Eve;  and,  says  the 
author  [of  a  MS  volume  of  Homilies  in  the  Harleian  Library,  No.  2371],  '  in  the  begynnyng  of 
holy  chirch,  all  the  children  weren  kept  to  be  crystened  on  thys  even,  at  the  Font  hallowyng ;  but 
now,  for  enchesone  that  in  so  long  abyclynge  they  might  dye  without  crystendome,  therefore  holi 
chirch  ordeyneth  to  crysten  at  all  tymes  of  the  yeare ;  save  eyght  dayes  before  these  Evenys,  the 
chylde  shalle  abyde  till  the  Font  hallowing,  if  it  may  savely  for  perrill  of  death,  and  ells  not.'  " 

Collinson,  in  his  History  of  Somersetshire,  vol.  iii.  p.  620,  speaking  of  Yatton,  says,  that  "  John 
Lane  of  this  parish,  gent,  left  half  an  acre  of  ground,  called  the  Groves,  to  the  poor  for  ever, 
reserving  a  quantity  of  the  grass  for  strewing  the  church  on  Whitsunday." 


£32  WHITSUNTIDE. 

A  superstitious  notion  appears  antiently  to  have  prevailed  in  England,  that, 
"  whatsoever  one  did  ask  of  God  upon  Whitsunday  morning,  at  the  instant  when 
the  sun  arose  and  play'd,  God  would  grant  it  him."  See  Arise  Evans's  "  Echo 
to  the  Voice  from  Heaven ;  or,  a  Narration  of  his  Life,"  8vo,  Lond.  16*52,  p.  9- 
He  says,  "  he  went  up  a  hill  to  see  the  sun  arise  betimes  on  Whitsunday  morn- 
ing," and  saw  it  at  its  rising  "  skip,  play,  dance,  and  turn  about  like  a  wheel." 


"  At  Kidlington,  in  Oxfordshire,  the  custom  is,  that,  on  Monday  after  Whit- 
son  Week,  there  is  a  fat  live  lamb  provided ;  and  the  maids  of  the  town,  having 
their  thumbs  tied  behind  them,  run  after  it,  and  she  that  with  her  mouth  takes 
and  holds  the  lamb  is  declared  Lady  of  the  Lamb,  which  being  dressed,  with 
•the  skin  hanging  on,  is  carried  on  a  long  pole  before  the  lady  and  her  com- 
panLns  to  the  Green,  attended  with  music,  and  a  Morisco  dance  of  men,  and 
another  of  women,  where  the  rest  of  the  day  is  spent  in  dancing,  mirth,  and 
merry  glee.  The  next  day  the  lamb  is  part  baked,  boiled,  and  roast,  for  the 
Lady's  Feast,  where  she  sits  majestically  at  the  upper  end  of  the  table,  and  her 
•companions  with  her,  with  music  and  other  attendants,  which  ends  the  so- 
lemnity'." Beckwith's  edition  of  Blount's  Jocular  Tenures,  p.  281. 

1  Ex  relatione  Habitantium.  filount  149.  In  Poor  Robin's  Almanack  for  1676,  stool-ball 
and  barley-break  are  spoken  of  as  Wbitson  sports.  In  the  Almanack  for  the  following  year,  in 
June,  opposite  Whitsunday  and  Holidays,  we  read : 

"  At  Islington  At  Highgate  and  At  Totnam  Court 

A  fair  they  hold,                         At  Holloway,  And  Kentish  Town, 

Where  cakes  and  ale  The  like  is  kept  And  all  those  places 

Are  to  be  sold.                            Here  every  day.  Up  and  down." 


233 


TRINITY,  or  TRINITY  SUNDAY,  EVEN. 

IN  Lysons's  Environs  of  London,  vol.  i  p.  310,  among  his  curious  extracts 
from  the  Churchwardens'  Accounts  at  Lambeth  are  the  following: 

£.   s.    d. 

"1519-  Item,  for  garlonds  and  drynk  for  the  chylderne  on  Trenyte  Even  006 
— — -  To  Spryngwell  and  Smyth  for  syngyng  with  the  Procession  on 

Trenete  Sonday  Even    -  -  0     0   12 
Item,  for  four  onssys  of  garnesyng  rebonds,  at  9d.  the  onse    -  0     3     0 


EVE  OF  THURSDAY  after  TRINITY  SUNDAY. 

"  IN  Wales,  on  Thursday  after  Trinity  Sunday,  which  they  call  Dudd  son 
Duw,  or  Dydd  gwyl  duw,  on  the  Eve  before,  they  strew  a  sort  of  fern  before 
their  doors,  called  Red  yn  Mair."  This  is  at  Caerwis.  Mr.  Pennant's  MS. 


ST.  BARNABAS'  DAY. 
(The  Eleventh  of  June.) 

In  the  Churchwardens'  Accounts  of  St.  Mary  at  Hill,  in  the  city  of  London, 
17  and  \Q  Edward  IV.  Palmer  and  Clerk  Churchwardens,  the  following  entry 
occurs : 
"  For  Rose-garlondis  and  WoodroveK-garlondis  on  St.  Barnebes'  Daye,  xjd." 

And,  under  the  year  1486: 

"  Item,  for  two  doss'  di  BOCSE  GARLANDS  for  prestes  and  clerks  on  Saynt  Bar- 
nabe  dave,  js.  xrf." 

a  A  Note  on  this  word  in  the  printed  copy  of  these  Accounts,  (see  Mr.  Nichols's  Illustrations 
of  Ancient  Manners,)  says,  "  Q.  Woodbine."  Skinner  gives  a  choice  of  etymologies  for  it  •  "  Wood- 
roof  ab  A.  S.  fubu-Rope,  asperula  herba,  nescio  an  a  nostro  Wood,  A.  S.  J^ubu,  Sylva,  et 

VOL.    I.  H  H 


534  ST.  BARNABAS'  DAT. 

Ibid.   1512,  Woulffe  and  Marten  Churchwardens,  the  following : 
"  Recd  of  the  gadryng  of  the  Maydens  on  St.  Barnabas'  Day,  vjs. 

And,  among  the  church  disbursements  of  the  same  year,  we  have: 
"  Rose-garlands  and  Lavender,  St.  Barnabas,  is.  vjd." 

In  the  same  Accounts,  for  1509,  is  the  following  : 

"For  bred,  wine,  and  ale,  for  the  Singers  of  the  King's  Chapel,  and  for  the 
Clarks  of  this  town,  on  St.  Barnabas,  is.  iijd." 

Collinson,  in  his  History  of  Somersetshire,  vol.  ii.  p.  265,  speaking  of  Glas- 
tonbury,  tells  ^is,  that,  "  besides  the  holy  Thorn,  there  grew'  in  the  Abbey 
Church-yard,  on  the  North  side  of  St.  Joseph's  Chapel,  a  miraculous  Walnut 
Tree,  which  never  budded  forth  before  the  feast  of  St.  Barnabas,  viz.  the  ele- 
venth of  June,  and  on  that  very  day  shot  forth  leaves,  and"  flourished  like  its 
usual  species.  This  tree  is  gone,  and  in  the  place  thereof  stands  a  very  fine 
Walnut-tree  of  the  common  sort.  It  is  strange  to  say  how  much  this  tree  was 
sought  after  by  the  credulous  ;  and,  though  not  an  uncommon  Walnut,  Queen 
Anne,  King  James,  and  many  of  the  nobility  of  the  realm,  even  when  the  times 
of  monkish  superstition  had  ceased,  gave  large  sums  of  money  for  small  cuttings 
from  the  original." 

Among  Ray's  Proverbs,  (edit.  8vo.  1?68,  p.  39,)  the  following  is  preserved 
relating  to  Saint  Barnabas  : 

"  Barnaby  Bright, 
The  longest  day  and  the  shortest  night." 

[The  author  of  the  "  Festa  Anglo  Romana,"  says,  p.  7^,  "  This  Barnaby-day, 
or  thereabout,  is  the  Summer  Solstice  or  Sun-sted,  when  the  Sun  seems  to  stand, 


Loena,  Sagum,  sic  dicta  quia  Sylvis  gaudet,  easque  instar  straguli  operit,  vel  potius  a  Wood  et 
Rowel,  quia  sc.  flores  Stellam  vel  Calcaris  radios  referunt." 

"  Woodroofe,  Asperula,  hath  many  square  stalkes  full  of  joynts,  and  at  every  knot  or  joynt  seven 
or  eight  long  narrow  leaves,  set  round  about  like  a  star,  or  the  rowell  of  a  spurre.  The  flowres 
grow  at  the  top  of  the  stems,  of  a  white  colour  and  of  a  very  sweet  smell,  as  is  the  rest  of  the 
herbe,  which  being  made  up  into  garlands  or  bundles,  and  hanging  up  in  houses  in  the  heat  of  sum- 
mer, doth  very  well  attemper  the  aire,  coole  and  make  fresh  the  place,  to  the  delight  and  comfort  of 
such  as  are  therein." — "  Woodroofle  is  named  of  divers  in  Latine  Asperula  odorata,  and  of  most 
men  Aspergida  odorata .-  of  others  Cordialis,  and  Stellaria :  in  English,  Woodrooffe,  Woodrowe, 
and  Woodrowell.  It  is  reported  to  be  put  into  wine,  to  make  a  man  merry,  and  to  be  good  for  the 
heart  and  liver."  Gerard's  Herball,  p.  1124. 


ST.    VITUS'S    DAT.  235 

and  begins  to  go  back,  being  the  longest  day  in  the  year,  about  the  1 1th  or  12th 
of  June;  it  is  taken  for  the  whole  time,  when  the  days  appear  not  for  fourteen 
days  together  either  to  lengthen  or  shorten."] 


ST.  VITUS'S  DAY, 
(Fifteenth  of  June.) 

IN  the  Sententiae  Rythmicas  of  J.  Buchlerus,  p.  384,  is  a  passage  which 
seems  to  prove  that  St.  Vitus's  Day  was  equally  famous  for  rain  with   St. 

Swithin's : 

"  Lux  sacrata  Vito  si  sit  pluviosa,  sequentes> 
Triginta  facient  omne  maclere  solum." 

.Barnabe  Googe,  in  the  Translation  of  Naogeorgus,  says  : 

"The  nexte  is  VITUS  soclcle  in  oyle,  before  whose  ymage  faire 

Both  men  and  women  bringing  hennes  for  offring  do  repaire  : 

The  cause  whereof  I  doe  not  know,   I  thinke,  for  some  disease 

Which  he  is  thought  to  drive  away  from  such  as  him  do  please."     fol.  54  b. 

See  a  Charm  against  St.  Vitus's  Dance  in  Turner  on  the  Diseases  of  the 
Skin,  p.  419. 


CORPUS  CHRISTI  DAY, 

and 

PLAYS. 
(The  Fourteenth  of  June.) 

CORPUS  CHRISTI  Day,  says  the  "  Festa  Anglo  Romans,"  p.  73,  in  all 
Roman  Catholic  Countries  is  celebrated  with  musick,  lights,  flowers  strewed  all 
along  the  streets,  their  richest  tapestries  hung  out  upon  the  walls,  &c. 

The  following  is  Barnabe  Googe's  Translation  of  what  Naogeorgus  has  said 
upon  the  Ceremonies  of  this  Day  in  his  Popish  Kingdom,  fol.  53  b. 


236'  CORPUS   CHRISTI   DAY. 

"  Then  doth  ensue  the  solemne  feast  of  Corpus  Christi  Day, 

Who  then  can  shewe  their  wicked  use,  and  fond  and  foolish  play  ? 

The  hallowed  bread,  with  worship  great,  in  silver  pix  they  beare 

About  the  church,  or  in  the  citie  passing  here  and  theare. 

His  armes  that  beares  the  same  two  of  the  welthiest  men  do  holde, 

And  over  him  a  canopey  of  silke  and  cloth  of  golde. 

Foure  others  use  to  beare  aloufe,  least  that  some  filthie  thing 

Should  fall  from  hie,  or  some  mad  birde  hir  doung  thereon  should  fling. 

Christe's  passion  here  derided  is,  with  sundrie  maskes  and  playes, 

Faire  Ursley,  with  hir  maydens  all,   doth  passe  amid  the  wayes : 

And,  valiant  George,  with  speare  thou  killest  the  dreadfull  dragon  here, 

The  Devil's  house  is  drawne  about,  wherein  there  doth  appere 

A  wondrous  sort  of  damned  sprites,  with  foule  and  fearefull  looke, 

Great  Christopher  doth  wade  and  passe  with  Christ  amid  the  brooke : 

Sebastian  full  of  feathred  shaftes,  the  dint  of  dart  doth  feele, 

There  walketh  Kathren,  with  hir  sworde  in  hande,  and  cruel  wheele  : 

The  Challis  and  the  singing  Cake  with  Barbara  is  led, 

And  sundrie  other  pageants  playde,  in  worship  of  this  bred, 

That  please  the  foolish  people  well  :   what  should  I  stand  upon 

Their  Banners,  Crosses,  Candlestickes,  and  reliques  many  on, 

Their  Cuppes,  and  carved  Images,  that  priestes,  with  count'nance  hie 

Or  rude  and  common  people,  beare  about  full  solemlie  ? 

Saint  John  before  the  bread  doth  go,  and  poynting  towards  him, 

Doth  shew  the  same  to  be  the  Lainbe  that  takes  away  our  sinne  : 

On  whome  two  clad  in  angels  shape  do  sundrie  flowres  fling, 

A  number  great  of  Sacring  Belles  with  pleasant  sound  doe  ring. 

The  common  wayes  with  bowes  are  strawde,  and  every  streete  beside, 

And  to  the  walles  and  windowes  all,  are  boughes  and  braunches  tide. 

The  monkes  in  every  place  do  roame,  the  nonnes  abrode  are  sent, 

The  priestes  and  schoolmen  lowd  do  rore,  some  use  the  instrument. 

The  straunger  passing  through  the  streete,  upon  his  knees  doe  fall : 

And  earnestly  upon  this  bread,  as  on  his  God,  doth  call. 

For  why,  they  counte  it  for  their  Lorde,  and  that  he  doth  not  take 

The  form  of  flesh,  but  nature  now  of  breade  that  we  do  bake. 

A  number  great  of  armed  men  here  all  this  while  do  stande, 

To  looke  that  no  disorder  be,  nor  any  filching  hande  : 

For  all  the  church-goodes  out  are  brought,  which  certainly  would  bee 

A  bootie  good,  if  every  man  might  have  his  libertie. 


CORPUS    CHRISTI    DAT.  237 

This  Bread  eight  dayes  togither  they  in  presence  out  do  bring, 
The  organs  all  do  then  resound,   and  priestes  alowde  do  sing  : 
The  people  flat  on  faces  fall,  their  handes  held  up  on  hie, 
Eeleeving  that  they  see  their  God,  and  soveraigne  Majestie. 
The  like  at  Masse  they  doe,  while  as  the  Bread  is  lifted  well, 
And  Challys  shewed  aloft,  when  as  the  sexten  rings  the  bell." 
*         *         *         * 

"In  villages  the  Husbandmen  about  their  corne  doe  ride, 

With  many  Crosses,   Banners,  and  Sir  John  their  priest  beside  : 

Who  in  a  bag  about  his  necke  doth  beare  the  blessed  Breade, 

And  oftentyme  he  downe  alightes,  and  Gospel  lowde  doth  reade. 

This  surely  keepes  the  corne  from  winde,  and  raine,   and  from  the  blast, 

Such  fayth  the  Pope  hath  taught,  and  yet  the  Papistes  hold  it  fast." 

In  Lysons's  Environs  of  London,  vol.  i.  p.  229,  I  find  the  following  extracts 
from  the  Churchwardens'  and  Chamberlains'  Accounts  at  Kingston  upon 
Thames,  relating  to  this  Day  : 

"21  Hen.  VII.   Mem.   That  we,   Adam  Backhous  and  Harry  £.    s.    d. 

Nycol,  amounted  of  a  Play  -  -  -     4     0     0 

"27  Hen.  VII.  Paid  for  pach-thred  on  Corpus  Christi  Day         -001 

:'This,"  Mr,  Lysons  adds,  "was  probably  used  for  hanging  the  pageants, 
containing  the  History  of  our  Saviour,  which  were  exhibited  on  this  day,  and 
explained  by  the  Mendicant  Friars-V 

In  the  Churchwardens'  Accounts  of  St.  Mary  at  Hill,  in  the  City  of  London, 
17  and  19  Edw.  IV.  Palmer  and  Clerk  Churchwardens,  the  following  entry 
occurs : 

"  Garlands  on  Corpus  Christi  Day,  xd." 


*  The  Cotton  MS.  Vesp.  D.  viii.  contains  a  Collection  of  Dramas  in  old  English  verse  (of  the  fif- 
teenth century)  relating  principally  to  the  Histoiy  of  the  New  Testament.  Sir  William  Dugdale 
mentions  this  Manuscript  under  the  name  of  Ludus  Corporis  Christi,  or  Liulus  Coventriae ;  and 
adds,  "I  have  been  told  by  some  people,  who  in  their  younger  years  were  eye-witnesses  of  these 
pageants  so  acted,  that  the  yearly  confluence  of  people  to  see  that  shew  was  extraordinary  great, 
and  yielded  no  small  advantage  to  this  city."  See  Antiq.  of  Warwickshire,  p.  11G.  It  appears 
by  the  latter  end  of  the  prologue,  that  these  plays  or  interludes  were  not  only  played  in  Coventry, 
but  in  other  towns  and  places  upon  occasion;  See  Reed's  edit,  of  Shakspeare,  8vo,  Lond.  18O3. 
Historical  Account  of  the  English  Stage,  vol.  iii.  p.  18. 


258  SUMMER  SOLSTICE. 

I  find  also,  among  the  ancient  annual  Church  disbursements,  "For  four 
(six,  or  eight)  men  bearing  torches  about  the  parish"  on  this  Day,  payments  of 
id.  each. 

Among  the  same  Accounts,  for  the  19th  and  21st  years  of  Edw.  IVth,  we  have: 

"  For  flaggs  and  garlondis,  and  pak-thredde  for  the  torches,  upon  Corpus 
Christi  Day,  and  for  six  men  to  bere  the  said  torches,  iiijjr.  vijrf." 

And,  in  1485,  "For  the  hire  of  the  garments  for  pageants,  i*.  viijrf." 

Rose-garlands  on  Corpus  Christi  Day  are  also  mentioned  under  the  years 
1524  and  1525,  in  the  Parish  Accounts  of  St.  Martin  Outwich. 


Mr.  Pennant's  Manuscript  says,  that  in  North  Wales,  at  Llanasaph,  there  i» 
a  custom  of  strewing  green  herbs  and  flowers  at  the  doors  of  houses  on  Corpus 
Christi  Eve. 


SUMMER  SOLSTICE. 


MIDSUMMER    EVE. 
THE    VIGIL    OF    ST.    JOHN    BAPTIST'S    DAY. 

THE  Pagan  Rites  of  this  Festival  at  the  Summer  Solstice,  may  be  considered 
as  a  counterpart  of  those  used  at  the  Winter  Solstice  at  Yule-tide.  There  is 
one  thing  that  seems  to  prove  this  beyond  the  possibility  of  a  doubt.  In  the 
old  Runic  Fasti,  as  will  be  shewn  elsewhere,  a  Wheel  was  used  to  denote  the 
Festival  of  Christrnass.  The  learned  Gebelin  derives  Yule  from  a  primitive 
word,  carrying  with  it  the  general  idea  of  revolution  and  a  wheel ;  and  it  was 
so  called,  says  Bede,  because  of  the  return  of  the  sun's  annual  course,  after  the 
Winter  Solstice.  This  Wheel  is  common  to  both  Festivities.  Thus  Durand, 


SUMMEft   SOLSTICE.  239 

speaking  of  the  Rites  of  the  Feast  of  St.  John  Baptist,  informs  us  of  this  curious 
circumstance,  that  in  some  places  they  roll  a  Wheel  about,  to  signify  that  the 
Sun,  then  occupying  the  highest  place  in  the  Zodiac,  is  beginning  to  descend*; 
and  in  the  amplified  account  of  these  ceremonies  given  by  the  Poet  Naogeorgus, 
we  read  that  this  Wheel  was  taken  up  to  the  top  of  a  mountain  and  rolled  down 
from  thence ;  and  that,  as  it  had  previously  been  covered  with  straw,  twisted 
about  it  and  set  on  fire,  it  appeared  at  a  distance  as  if  the  sun  had  been  falling 
from  the  sky.  And  he  farther  observes,  that  the  people  imagine  that  all  their 
ill-luck  rolls  away  from  them  together  with  this  Wheelb. 


*  "  ROT  AM  quoque  hoc  die  in  quibusdam  locis  volvunt,  ad  signiricandum  quod  Sol  alti^imum 
tune  locum  in  Coelo  occupet,  et  clescendere  incipiat  in  Zodiaco." 

Among  the  Harleian  Manuscripts,  now  in  the  British  Museum,  No.  2345,  Art.  100,  is  an  Ac- 
count of  the  Rites  of  St.  John  Baptist's  Eve,  in  which  the  Wheel  is  also  mentioned.  The  writer 
is  speaking,  "  de  Tripudiis  qua;  in  Vigilia  B.  Johannis  fieri  solent,  quorum  tria  genera."  "  In  Vi- 
gilia  enim  beati  Johannis,"  the  author  adds,  "  colligunt  pueri  in  quibusdam  regionibus  ossa  & 
quedam  alia  immunda,  &  in  simul  cremant,  et  exinde  producitur  fumus  in  aere.  Cremant  ?  ctiam 
Brandas  (sen  Fasces)  et  circuiunt  arva  cum  Brandis.  Tertium,  de  ROTA  quamfaciunt  volvi.  Quod 
cum  immunda  cremant,  hoc  habent  ex  Gentilibus." 

The  Catalogue  describes  this  curious  Manuscript  thus  :  "  Codex  membranaceus  in  4to  cujus 
mine  plura  desiderantur  folia  :  quo  tamen  continebantur  diversa  cujusdam  Monachi,  uti  vidctur, 
Winchelcumbensis  Opuscula." 

b  The  following  is  Naogeorgus's  account  of  the  Rites  of  this  Festivity  : 
"In  die  magni  Baptists  solstitiiim  fort, 
Omnibus  in  vicis  qua  vulgo  accenditur  ignis, 
Inq;  foro  atque  viis,  laetas  circumque  choreas 
Solliciti  ducunt  juvenes,  cupideque  puellae, 
Verbenis  cincti,  &  Mausoli  conjugis  herba, 
Nonnullisque  aliis :  nigra  et  vacinia  palmis 
Gestantes,  creduntque  superstitionibus  omnes 
Non  doliturum  oculos  qui  per  vacinia  flammas 
Inspiciat.     Postquam  saltarunt  noctis  ad  vmbram, 
Tandem  transiliunt  ignem  certamine  magno, 
Injiciuntque  hcrbas  prece,  votisque,  vt  sua  eisdem 
Cuncta  exurantur  simul  infortunia  flammis, 
Quo  se  ilium  credunt  tutos  e  febribus  annum. 
Est  vbi  detritam,  stupisque  &  stramine  multo 
Intextam,  tractamque  BOTAM  in  celsissima  mentis 
Succendunt,  postquam.  coelo  hesperus  ardet  opaco. 


<240  SUMMER  SOLSTICE. 

Bourne  tells  us,  that  it  was  the  custom  in  his  time,  in  the  North  of  Eng- 
land, chiefly  in  country  villages,  for  old  and  young  people  to  meet  together 


Volvuntque  in  prssceps  :  quod  solis  ab  arce  cadentis 
Coelesti  simulat  speciem,  horrendumque  videtur. 
At  sua  turn  credunt  paritcr  dispendia  volvi 
In  praece  ps,  tutosque  a  cunctis  se  esse  periclis." 

Hospinian.  de  Origine  Festor.  Christian,  fol.  113  b. 
"  Then  doth  the  joyfull  feast  of  John  the  Baptist  take  his  turne, 
When  bonfiers  great,  with  lot'lie  flame,  in  every  towne  doe  burne  : 
And  yong  men  round  about  with  maides,  doe  daunce  in  every  streete, 
With  garlands  wrought  of  Motherwort,  or  else  with  Vervain  sweete, 
And  many  other  flowrcs  faire,  with  Violets  in  their  handes, 
Whereas  they  all  do  fond'y  thinke,  that  whosoever  staiides, 
And  thorow  the  fluwres  beholdes  the  flame,  his  eyes  shall  feel  no  paine. 
When  thus  till  night  they  daunced  have,  they  through  the  fire  am  line, 
With  striving  mindes  doe  runne,  and  all  their  heaibes  they  cast  therein, 
And  then  with  worries  devout  and  prayers  they  solemnc-ly  begin, 
Desiring  God  that  all  their  illes  may  there  consumed  bee  ; 
Whereby  they  thinke  through  all  that  yeare  from  agues  to  be  free. 
Some  others  get  a  rotten  Wheele,  all  worne  and  cast  aside, 
Which,  covered  round  about  with  strawe  and  tow,  they  closely  hide : 
And  caryed  to  some  mountaines  top,  being  all  with  lire  light, 
They  hurle  it  downe  with  violence,  when  darke  appears  the  night : 
Resembling  much  the  sunne,  that  from  the  Heavens  down  should  fal, 
A  straunge  and  monstrous  sight  it  seemes,  and  fearefull  to  them  all  : 
But  they  suppose  their  mischiefes  all  are  likewise  throwne  to  hell. 
And  that  from  harmes  and  daungers  now,  in  safetie  here  they  dwell." 

The  Popish  Kingdome,  fol.  54  b. 

The  Reader  will  join  with  me  in  thinkingthe  following  extract  from  the  Homily  "  De  Festo  Sancti 
Johannis  Baptistae,"  a  pleasant  piece  of  absurdity  : 

"  In  worshyp  of  Saint  Johan  the  people  waked  at  home,  and  made  three  maner  of  fyres  :  one 
was  clene  bones,  and  noo  woode,  and  that  is  called  a  Bone  Fyre ;  another  is  clene  woode,  and  no 
bones,  and  that  is  called  a  Wode  Fyre,  for  people  to  sit  and  wake  therby ;  the  thirde  is  made  of 
wode  and  bones,  and  it  is  callyd  Saynt  Johannys  fyre.  The  first  fyre,  as  a  great  clerke  Johan  Bel- 
leth  telleth  he  was  in  a  certayne  countrey,  so  in  the  countrey  there  was  soo  greate  hete  the  which 
causid  that  dragons  to  go  togyther  in  tokenynge  that  Johan  dyed  in  brennynge  love  and  charyte 
to  God  and  man,  and  they  that  dye  in  charyte  shall  have  parte  of  all  good  prayers,  and  they  that 
do  not,  shall  never  be  saved.  Then  as  these  dragons  flewe  in  th'  ayre  they  shed  down  to  that  water 
froth  of  ther  kynde,  and  so  envenymed  the  waters,  and  caused  moehe  people  for  to  take  theyr  deth 
therby,  and  many  dyverse  sykenesse.  Wyse  clerkes  knoweth  well  that  dragons  hate  nothyng  more 


SUMMER    SOLSTICE. 

and  be  merry  over  a  large  fire,  which  was  made  for  that  purpose  in  the  open 
street6.  This,  of  whatever  materials  it  consisted,  was  called  a  Bonefired. 

Over  and  about  this  fire  they  frequently  leap,  and  play  at  various  games, 
such  as  running,  wrestling,  dancing,  &c. :  this,  however,  is  generally  confined 
to  the  younger  sort ;  for  the  old  ones,  for  the  most  part,  sit  by  as  spectators 

than  the  stenche  of  brennynge  bones,  and  therefore  they  gaderyd  as  many  as  they  mighte  fynde, 
and  brent  them  ;  and  so  with  the  stenche  thereof  they  drove  away  the  dragons,  and  so  they  were 
brought  out  of  greete  dysease. 

"  The  seconde  fyre  was  made  of  woode,  for  that  wyl  brenne  lyght,  and  wyll  be  seen  farre.  For 
it  is  the  chefe  of  fyre  to  be  seen  farre,  and  betokennynge  that  Saynt  Johan  was  a  lanterne  of  lyght 
to  the  people.  Also  the  people  made  biases  of  fyre  for  that  they  shulde  be  seene  farre,  and  spe- 
cyally  in  the  nyght,  in  token  of  St.  Johan's  having  been  seen  from  far  in  the  spirit  by  Jeremiah. 
The  third  fyre  of  bones  betokenneth  Johan's  martyrdome,  for  hys  bones  were  brente,  and  how'ye 
shall  here."  The  Homilist  accounts  for  this  by  telling  us  that  after  John's  disciples  had  buried 
his  body,  it  lay  till  Julian,  the  apostate  Emperor,  came  that  way,  and  caused  them  to  be  taken 
up  and  burnt,  "  and  to  caste  the  ashes  in  the  wynde,  hopynge  that  he  shuld  never  ryse  again 
to  lyfe." 

e  See  Antiq.  Vulg.  chap,  xxvii. 

4  These  fires  are  supposed  to  have  been  called  Bonefires  because  they  were  generally  made  of 
bones.  There  is  a  passage  in  Stow,  however,  wherein  he  speaks  of  men  finding  wood  or  labour 
towards  them,  which  seems  to  oppose  the  opinion.  The  learned  Dr.  Hickes  also  gives  a  very  dif- 
ferent etymon.  He  defines  a  Bonefire  to  be  a  festive  or  triumphant  fire.  In  the  Islandic  Lan- 
guage, he  says,  Baal  signifies  a  burning.  In  the  Anglo  Saxon,  Bael-pyp,  by  a  change  of  letters 
of  the  same  organ  is  made  Baen-pyp,  whence  our  Bone-fire. 

In  the  Tinmouth  MS.  cited  so  often  in  the  History  of  Newcastle,  "Boon-er,"  and  "  Boen- 
Harow,"  occur  for  plowing  and  harrowing  gratis,  or  by  gift.  There  is  a  passage  also,  much  to 
our  purpose,  in  Aston's  Translation  of  J.  B.  Aubanus,  p. '282.  "Common  Fires  (or  as  we  call 
them  hecre  in  England  Bonefires.)"  I  am,  therefore,  strongly  inclined  to  think  that  Bone-fire 
means  a  Contribution-fire,  that  is,  a  fire  to  which  every  one  in  the  neighbourhood  contributes  a 
certain  portion  of  materials.  The  contributed  Plowing  Days  in  Northumberland  are  called 
"  Bone-dargs." 

"  Bon-tire,"  says  Lye  (apud  Junii  Etymolog.)  not  a  fire  made  of  bones,  but  a  6oon-fire,  a  fire 
made  of  materials  obtained  by  begging.  Boon,  Bone,  Bene,  vet.  Angl.  petitio,  preces." 

Fuller,  in  p.  ^5  of  his  "  Mixt  Contemplations  in  better  Times,"  12mo.  Loud.  1658,  says  he  hai 
met  wi^h  "  two  etymologies  of  Bone-fires.  Some  deduce  it  from  fires  made  of  bones,  relating  it 
to  the  burning  of  martyrs,  first  fashionable  in  England  in  the  reign  of  King  Henry  the  Fourth  : 
But  others  derive  the  word  (more  truly  in  my  mind)  from  boon,  that  is  good,  and  fires."  ^ 

See  »lso  a  Letter  of  Dr.  Pegge's,  signed  T.  Row,  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine,  vol.  xliv.  for 
1774,  p.  315. 

VOL.  I.  II 


242  SUMMER   SOLSTICE. 

only  of  the  vagaries  of  those  who  compose  the 

"  Lasciva  decentius  Betas," 

and  enjoy  themselves  over  their  bottle,  which  they  do  not  quit  till  midnight,  and 
sometimes  till  Cock-crow  the  next  morning. 

The  learned  Gebelin,  in  his  Allegories  Orientales,  accounts  in  the  following 
manner  for  the  custom  of  making  Fires  on  Midsummer  Eve :  "  Can  one,"  says 
hee,  "  omit  to  mention  here  the  St.  John  Fires,  those  sacred  Fires,  kindled  about 
midnight,  on  the  very  moment  of  the  Solstice,  by  the  greatest  part  as  well  of 
antient  as  of  modern  nations ;  a  religious  ceremony  of  the  most  remote  anti- 


•  "  Peut-on  me"connoitre  ici  les  Feux  de  la  S.  Jean,  ces  Feux  sacres  allumes  a  minuit  au  moment 
du  Solstice  chez  la  plupart  des  nations  anciennes  and  modernes  ?  Ce're'inonie  religieuse,  qui  re- 
monte  ainsi  &  la  plus  haute  antiquite",  &  qu'on  observoit  pour  la  prosperit6  des  etats  et  des  peu- 
ples,  and  pour  (^carter  tous  les  maux. 

"  L' engine  de  ce  Feu  que  tant  de  Nations  conservent  encore  et  qui  se  perd  dans  1'antiquite",  est 
tres  simple.  C'etoit  un  Feu  de  joie  allurae"  au  moment  ou  1'Ann^e  commen^oit ;  car  la  premiere 
de  toutes  les  anne'es,  la  pius  ancienne  done  on  ait  quelque  connoissance,  s'ouvroit  au  mois  de  Juin. 
De-la  le  nom  mfeme  de  ce  mois,  Junior,  le  plus  jeune,  qui  se  renouvelle ;  tandis  que  celui  qui 
le  pre'ce'de  est  le  mois  de  Mai,  ou  major,  1'ancien ;  aussi  1'un  etoit  le  mois  des  jeunes  gens,  &  1'autre 
celui  des  vieillards. 

"  Ces  Feux-de-joie  e'toient  accompagnes  en  mtoie  terns  de  voeux  &  de  sacrifices  pour  la  pro- 
'•perite  des  peuples  &  de  biens  de  la  terre  :  on  dansoit  aussi  autour  de  ce  Feu ;  car  y  a-t-il  quelque 
fete  sans  danse  ?  et  les  plus  agiles  sautoient  par-dessus.  En  se  retirant,  chacun  emportoit  un 
tison  plus  ou  moins  grand,  et  le  reste  dtoit  jette1  au  vents,  a  fin  qu'il  emportat  tout  malheur 
comme  il  emportoit  ces  cendres. 

"  Lorsqu'apres  une  longue  suite  d'anne'es,  le  Solstice  n'en  fit  plus  1'ouverture,  on  continua  De- 
fendant e'galement  1'usage  des  Feux  dans  le  meme  tems,  par  une  suite  de  1'habitude,  et  des  ide"es 
euperstitieuses  qu'on  y  avoit.  attaches ;  d'ailleurs,  il  eut  e"te  triste  d'ane"antir  un  jour  de  joie,  dans 
des  tems  ou  il  y  en  avoit  peu ;  aussi  cet  usage  s'est-il  maintenu  jusqu"a  nous."  Monde  Primitif, 
torn.  i.  Hist.  d'Hercule,  p.  203. 

Levinus  Lemnius,  in  his  Treatise  de  Occultis  Naturae  Miraculis,  lib.  3,  cap.  8,  has  the  follow- 
ing :  "  Natalis  dies  Joannis  Baptists — non  solum  Judffiis  ac  Christianis,  sed  Mauris  etiam  ac  Bar- 
baris,  quique  a  nostra  religione  alieni  ac  Mahumeto  addicti  sunt,  Celebris  est  et  sacro-sanctus, 
tametsi  nonnulli  hujus  noctem  superstitioso  quodam  cultu  congestis  lignorum  acervis,  accensisque 
Ignibus,  ut  Corybantes  ac  Cybeles  cultores,  strepitu  ac  furiosis  clamoribus  transigant,  quin  et 
impuberes  congestis  collisisque  ignitis  carbonibus  bonibos  ac  crepitaeula  excutiunt."  He  cites 
Olaus  Magnus  as  describing  how  the  Goths  kept  this  night.  "  Omnia  enim  generis  sexusque  ho- 
mines turaatim  in  publicum  concurrunt,  extructisque  luculeutis  ignibue  atque  accensis  facibiw,, 
^•horeis,  trijiudiieque  se  exercent." 


SUMMER   SOLSTICE.  243 

quity,  which  was  observed  for  the  prosperity  of  states  and  people,  and  to  dispel 
every  kind  of  evil. 

"The  origin  of  this  Fire,  which  is  still  retained  by  so  many  nations,  though 
enveloped  in  the  mist  of  antiquity,  is  very  simple  :  it  was  a  Feu  de  Joie,  kindled 
the  very  moment  the  year  began ;  for  the  first  of  all  years,  and  the  most  antient 
that  we  know  of,  began  at  this  month  of  June.  Thence  the  very  name. of  this 
month,  junior,  the  youngest,  which  is  renewed ;  while  that  of  the  preceding 
one  is  May,  major,  the  antient.  Thus  the  one  was  the  month  of  young  people, 
while  the  other  belonged  to  old  men. 

"These  Feux  de  Joie  were  accompanied  at  the  same  time  with  vows  and  sa- 
crifices for  the  prosperity  of  the  people  and  the  fruits  of  the  earth.  Tbej 
danced  also  round  this  Fire ;  for  what  feast  is  there  without  a  dance  ?  and  the 
most  active  leaped  over  it.  Each  on  departing  took  away  a  fire-brand,  great 
or  small,  and  the  remains  were  scattered  to  the  wind,  which,  at  the  same  time 
that  it  dispersed  the  ashes,  was  thought  to  expel  every  evil.  When,  after  a 
long  train  of  years,  the  year  ceased  to  commence  at  this  solstice,  still  the  custom 
of  nuking  these  fires  at  this  time  was  continued  by  force  of  habit,  and  of  those 
superstitious  ideas  that  are  annexed  to  it.  Besides,  it  would  have  been  a  sad 
thing  to  have  annihilated  a  day  of  joy  in  times  when  there  were  not  many  of 
them.  Thus  has  the  custom  been  continued  and  handed  dowjr  to  usf." 


la  the  Gent.  Mag.  vol.  iii.  for  May  1733,  p.  2'<J5,  a  posthumous  piece  of  Sir  Isaac  Newton,  in- 
titled,  "  Observations  upon  the  Prophecies  of  Daniel  and  the  Apocalypse  of  St.  John,"  is  cited, 
where  that  grew  Philosopher,  on  Daniel  ii,  v.  38,  39,  observes,  that  "the  Heathens  were  delighted 
with  (he  Festivals  of  their  Gods,  and  unwilling  to  part  with  those  ceremonies ;  therefore  Gre- 
gory, Bit>hop  of  Neo-Caesarea,  in  Pontus,  to  facilitate  their  conversion,  instituted  annual  Festi- 
vals to  the  Saints  and  Martyrs :  hence  the  keeping  of  Christmas  with  ivy,  feasting,  plays,  and 
sports,  came  in  the  room  of  the  Bacchanalia  and  Saturnalia ;  the  celebrating  May  Day  with 
flowers,  in  the  room  of  the  •Floralia ;  and  the  Festivals  to  the  Virgin  Mary,  John  the  Baptist,  and 
divers  of  the  Apostles,  in  the  room  of  the  solemnities  at  the  entrance  of  the  Sun  into  the  Signs  of 
the  Zodiac  in  the  old  Julian  Calendar." 

'  Borlase,  in  his  Antiquities  of  Cornwall,  p.  130,  tells  us :  "  Of  the  fires  we  kindle  in  many 
parts  of  England,  at  some  stated  times  of  the  year,  we  know  not  certainly  the  rise,  reason,  or 
occasion,  but  they  may  probably  be  reckoned  among  the  relicks  of  the  Druid  superstitious  Fires. 
In  Cornwall,  the  festival  Fires,  culled  Bonfires,  are  kindled  on  the  Eve  of  St.  John  Baptist  and  St. 
Peter's  Day  j  and  Midsummer  is  thence,  in  the  Cornish  tongue,  called  "  Goluan,"  which  signifies 
Ooth  light  and  rejoicing.  At  these  Fires  the  Cornish  attend  with  lighted  torches,  tarr'd  and 


244  SUMMER   SOLSTICE. 

So  far  our  learned  and  ingenious  foreigner.    But  I  can  by  no  means  acquiesce 
with  him  in  thinking  that  the  act  of  leaping  over  these  fires  was  only  a  trial  of 


pitch 'd  at  the  end,  and  make  their  perambulations  round  their  Fires,  and  go  from  village  to  village 
carrying  their  torches  before  them,  and  this  is  certainly  the  remains  of  the  Druid  superstition, 
for  '  faces  prapferre,'  to  cariy  lighted  torches,  was  reckoned  a  kind  of  Gentilisrn,  and  as  such  par- 
ticularly prohibited  by  the  Gallick  Councils :  they  were  in  the  eye  of  the  law  '  accensores  facu- 
larum,'  and  thought  to  sacrifice  to  the  devil,  and  to  deserve  capital  punishment." 

In  Ireland,  "  on  the  Eves  of  St.  John  Baptist  and  St.  Peter,  they  always  have  in  every  town  a 
Bonfire  late  in  the  evenings,  and  cany  about  bundles  of  reeds  fast  tied  and  fired;  these  being  dry, 
will  last  long,  and  flame  better  than  a  torch,  and  be  a  pleasing  divertive  prospect  to  the  distant 
beholder ;  a  stranger  would  go  near  to  imagine  the  whole  country  was  on  fire."  Sir  Henry  Piers's 
Description  of  West  Meath,  1682,  in  Vallancey's  Collectanea  de  Rebus  Hibernicis,  No.  I.  p.  123. 

The  author  of  "  The  Survey  of  the  South  of  Ireland,"  says,  p.  232 :  "It  is  not  strange  that 
many  Druid  remains  should  still  exist ;  but  it  is  a  little  extraordinary  that  some  of  their  customs 
should  still  be  practised.  They  annually  renew  the  sacrifices  that  used  to  be  offered  to  Apollo, 
without  knowing  it.  On  Midsummer's  Eve,  every  eminence,  near  which  is  a  habitation,  blazes 
with  Bonfires  ;  and  round  these  they  cany  numerous  torches,  shouting  and  dancing,  which  affords 
a  beautiful  sight,  and  at  the  same  time  confirms  the  observation  of  Scaliger :  '  En  Irlande,  ils 
sont  quasi  tous  papistes,  mais  c'est  Papaute  mdslee  de  Paganisme,  comme  partout.'  Though 
historians  had  not  given  us  the  mythology  of  the  pagan  Irish,  and  though  they  had  not  told  us 
expressly  that  they  worshipped  Beal,  or  Bealin,  and  that  this  Beal  was  the  Sun  and  their  chief 
God,  it  might  nevertheless  be  investigated  from  this  custom,  which  the  lapse  of  so  many  centuries 
has  not  been  able  to  wear  away."  "  I  have  however  heard  it  lamented  that  the  alteration  of  the 
style  had  spoiled  these  exhibitions :  for  the  Roman  Catholics  light  their  Fires  by  the  new  style,  as 
the  correction  originated  from  a  pope ;  and  for  that  very  same  reason  the  Protestants  adhere  to 
the  old." 

I  find  the  following,  much  to  our  purpose,  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  for  February  1795,  vol. 
ixv.  p.  124 :  "  The  Irish  have  ever  been  worshippers  of  Fire  and  of  Baal,  and  are  so  to  this  day.  This 
is  owing  to  the  Roman  Catholics,  who  have  artfully  yielded  to  the  superstitions  of  the  natives,  in 
order  to  gain  and  keep  up  an  establishment,  grafting  Christianity  upon  Pagan  rites.  The  chief 
festival  in  honour  of  the  Sun  and  Fire  is  upon  the  21st*  of  June,  when  the  sun  arrives  at  the 
summer  solstice,  or  rather  begins  its  retrograde  motion.  I  was  so  fortunate  in  the  summer  of 
1782,  as  to  have  my  curiosity  gratified  by  a  sight  of  this  ceremony  to  a  very  great  extent  of 
country.  At  the  house  where  I  was  entertained,  it  was  told  me  that  we  should  see  at  midnight 
the  most  singular  sight  in  Ireland,  which  was  the  lighting  of  fires  in  honour  of  the  Sun.  Accord- 
ingly, exactly  at  midnight,  the  Fires  began  to  appear :  and  taking  the  advantage  of  going  up  to 
the  leads  of  the  house,  which  had  a  widely  extended  view,  1  saw  on  a  radius  of  thirty  miles,  ail 


*  Qu.  if  this  is  not  a  mistake  for  the  23d. 


SUMMER   SOLSTICE.  245 

agility.     A  great  deal  of  learning  might  be  produced  here  to  shew  farther  that 
it  was  as  much  a  religious  act  as  making  them  R. 

Stow,  in  his  Survey  of  London,  tells  us,   "  that,  on  the  vigil  of  St.  John  Bap- 


around,  the  Fires  burning  on  every  eminence  which  the  country  afforded.  I  had  a  farther  satis- 
faction in  learning-,  from  undoubted  authority,  that  the  people  danced  round  the  Fires,  and  at  the 
close  went  through  these  fires,  and  made  their  sons  and  daughters,  together  with  their  cattle, 
pass  through  the  Fire ;  and  the  whole  was  conducted  with  religious  solemnity."  This  is  at  the 
end  of  some  Reflections  by  the  late  Rev.  Donald  M'Queen,  of  Kilmuir  in  the  Isle  of  Sky,  on  an- 
tient  Customs  preserved  in  that  Island. 

The  author  of  "  The  Comical  Pilgrim's  Pilgrimage  into  Ireland,"  8vo,  Lond.  1723,  p.  92,  says: 
"  On  the  vigil  of  St.  John  the  Baptist's  Nativity,  they  make  Bonfires,  and  run  along  the  streets 
and  fields  with  wisps  of  straw  blazing  on  long  poles  to  purify  the  air,  which  they  think  infectious> 
by  believing  al  the  devils,  spirits,  ghosts,  and  hobgoblins  fly  abroad  this  night  to  hurt  mankind. 
Farthermore,  it  is  their  dull  theology  to  affirm  the  souls  of  all  people  leave  their  bodies  on  the 
Eve  of  this  Feast,  and  take  their  ramble  to  that  very  place,  where,  by  land  or  sea,  a  final  sepa- 
ration shall  divorce  them  for  evermore  in  this  world." 

Levinus  Lemnius,  in  the  work  already  quoted,  tells  us,  that  the  Low  Dutch  have  a  proverb, 
that  "when  men  have  passed  a  troublesome  night's  rest,  and  could  not  sleep  at  all,  they  say,  we 
have  passed  St.  John  Baptist's  Night ;  that  is,  we  have  not  taken  any  sleep,  but  watched  all  night ; 
and  not  only  so,  but  we  have  been  in  great  troubles,  noyses,  clamours,  and  stirs,  that  have  held 
us  waking."  "  Some,"  he  previously  observes,  "  by  a  superstition  of  the  Gentiles,  fall  down  be- 
fore his  image,  and  hope  to  be  thus  freed  from  the  epileps ;  and  they  are  further  persuaded,  that 
if  they  can  but  gently  go  unto  this  Saint's  shrine,  and  not  cry  out  disorderly,  or  hollow  like  mad- 
men when  they  go,  then  they  shall  be  a  whole  year  free  from  this  disease ;  but  if  they  attempt  to 
bite  with  their  teeth  the  Saint's  head  they  go  to  kisse,  and  to  revile  him,  then  they  shall  be 
troubled  with  this  disease  every  month,  which  commonly  comes  with  the  course  of  the  moon,  yet 
extream  juglings  and  frauds  are  wont  to  be  concealed  under  this  matter."  English  Translat.  fol. 
1658,  p.  28. 

f  Leaping  over  the  Fires  is  mentioned  among  the  superstitious  rites  used  at  the  Palilia  in  Ovid'i 
Fasti : 

"  Moxque  per  ardentes  stipulae  crepitantis  acervos 
Trajicias  celeri  strenua  membra  pede." 

The  Palilia  were  Feasts  instituted  in  honour  of  Pales,  the  goddess  of  shepherds  (though  Varro 
makes  Pales  masculine,)  on  the  Calends  of  May.  In  order  to  drive  away  wolves  from  the  folds, 
and  distempers  from  the  cattle,  the  shepherds  on  this  day  kindled  several  heaps  of  straw  in  their 
fields,  which  they  leaped  over.  See  Sheridan's  Persius,  2d  edit.  p.  18. 

The  following  passage  may  be  thought,  however,  to  make  for  Gebelin  :  it  is  in  an  old  Collection 
of  Satyres,  Epigrams,  &c.  where  this  leaping  over  a  Midsummer  Bonefire  is  mentioned  among, 
other  pastimes : 


246  SUMMER    SOLSTICE. 

tistj  every  man's  door  being  shadowed  with  green  birch  h,  long  fennel,  St.  John's 


"  At  shove-groate,  venter-point,  or  crosse  and  pile, 
At  leaping  over  a  Jlidsommer  Hone-fitr, 
Or  at  the  drawing  dun  out  of  the  inyer." 

Reeds  edit,  of  Shaksp.  8vo,  Lond.  1803,  vol.  xx.  p.  51.  note. 

In  "  The  Works  of  William  Browne,"  vol.  iii.  8vo.  Lond.  1772,  "  The  Shepherd's  Pipe,"  p.  53. 
occur  the  following  lines : 

"  Neddy,  that  was  wont  to  make 
Such  great  feasting  at  the  wake, 

And  the  Blessing  Fire.-" 

with  a  note  front  blessing  Fire,  informing  us  that  "  the  Midsummer  fires  are  termed  so  in  the 
West  parts  of  England." 

The  following  very  curious  passage  on  this  head  is  extracted  from  Torreblanca's  Demonology, 
p.  1O6  :  "  Ignis  histrationis,  qua:  in  filiorum  consecratione  fiebat,  sive  expiation?,  ad  stabiliendam 
eorum  fortunam,  de  qua  agit  sacra  Paroemia,  Reg.  4,  c.  17.  Et  consecraverunt  filios  suos,  &  filias 
per  Ignem.  Quse  fiebat  ex  transjectione  per  ignem,  ex  qua  similiter  felices  illi  casus  j.r&nuncia- 
bant,  quam  superstitionem  damnatam  invenio  Deut.  c.  18.  Nee  inveniatur  in  te,  qui  lustrat 
filium  suum,  aut  filiam  ducens  per  ignem.  In  quo  peccant  German!  in  successione  Pyrarum, 
quas  pie  in  hcnorem  D.  Johannis  accendnnt,  dum  ad  crepitum,  fumum,  fiammae  modum,  &  similia 
attendant.  Nam  sunt  reliqniae  veteris  paganism!  ut  censet  Conrad.  Wissin  de  Divinat.  c.  2.  Nee 
non  qui  pyras  hujus'n^di  definitis  vicibus  se  circumire  et  transilire  debere  putant  in  futuri  r.iali 
averruncatione,  ut  tradit  Gliucas,  p.  2,  Annal.  fol.  269,  quod  ut  hodie,  ita  testeOvid,  lib.  4,  Pastor. 
'  Certe  ego  transilii  positas  ter  in  ordine  flammas." 

In  a  most  rare  tract,  entitled,  "  Perth  Assembly,"  &c.  4to,  1619,  p.  83.  probably  printed  in 
Scotland,  but  without  printer's  name,  we  read : 

"  Bel'armine  telleth  us  (De  Reliquiis,  c.  4),  Ignis  accendi  solet  ad  leetithm  significandam  etiam 
in  rebus  prophanis,  that  Fire  useth  to  be  kindled,  even  in  civil  and  prophane  things.  Scaliger 
calleth  the  candeii  and  iorclies  lightned  upon  Midsomer  Even,  thefoote  steps  of  auncient  gentility*." 
De  Em<,ndat.  Tempor.  lib.  vii.  p.  713. 

In  UM  " Chcvreana,"  vol  i.  p. 397,  on  the  Hebrew  sacrifices  to  Moloch,  we  read:  "On  a  doute" 
si  1'on  fuisoi'  biuler  ces  enfans,  ou  si  on  les  faiboit  simplement  passer  par  le  feu,  comme  je  1'ay 
vu  souveut  pratiquer  en  quelques  Endroits,  la  veille,  ou  la  f6te  de  Saint  Jean,  ce  qui  est  un  vilain 
reste  d'!dolatrie." 

*  In  the  Churchwardens'  Accounts  of  St.  Mary  at  Hill,  in  the  17  and  19  Edw.  IV.  Palmer  and 
Clock  Churchwardens,  I  find  the  following  entry:  ''For  birch  at  Midsummer,  viiid."  As  also, 
amoi^-  the  annual  church  disbursements,  ibid,  the  subsequent :  "  Birch  Midsurn1"  Eve, 
Ibid.  1486.  "  Item,  for  birch  bowes  agenst  Midsummer." 

*  Gentilism. 


SUMMER   SOLSTICE.  247 

wort1,  orpin,  white  lilies,  and  such  like,  garnished  upon  with  garlands  of  beau- 
tiful flowers,  had  also  lamps  of  glass,  with  oil  burning  in  them  all  the  night. 
Some,"  he  adds,  "  hung  out  branches  of  iron,  curiously  wrought,  containing 
hundreds  of  lamps  lighted  at  once.  He  mentions  also  Bonefires  in  the  streets, 
every  man  bestowing  wood  and  labour  (without  any  notice  taken  of  bones) 
towards  them  k.  He  seems,  however,  to  hint  that  they  were  kindled  on  this  oc- 
casion to  purify  the  air. 


Coles,  in  his  "  Adam  in  Eden,"  speaking  of  the  birch  tree,  says :  "  I  remember  once,  as  I  rid 
through  Little  BrickhiJl  in  Buckinghamshire,  which  is  a  town  standing  upon  the  London  road, 
between  Dunstable  and  Stony-Str  xtford,  every  signe-post  in  the  towne  almost  was  bedecked  with 
green  birch."  This  had  been  done,  no  doubt,  on  account  of  Midsummer  Eve. 

Coles  quaintly  observes,  among  the  civil  uses  of  the  birch-tree,  "  the  punishment  of  children, 
both  at  home  and  at  school ;  for  it  hath  an  admirable  influence  on  them  when  they  are  out  of 
order,  and  therefore  some  call  it  Makepeace." 

In  the  Churchwardens'  Accounts  of  St.  Martin  Outwich  (see  Mr.  Nichols's  Illustrations  of  An- 
cient Manners  and  Expences,  p.  273),  we  have:  "  1524.  Payde  for  byrche  and  bromes  at  Myd- 
som',  ijrf."  "  1525.  Payde  for  Byrch  and  Bromes  at  Mydsomr,  iijd." 

In  Dekker's  "  Wonderful  Yeare,"  4to,  1603,  signat.  B.  we  read,  "  Olive  trees  (which  grow  no 
where  but  in  the  Garden  of  Peace)  stood  (as  common  as  Beech  does  at  Midsomer)  at  every  man's 
doore." 

1  Mr.  Pennant's  MS.  informs  us,  that  in  Wales  "  they  have  the  custom  of  sticking  St.  John'* 
wort  over  the  doors  on  the  Eve  of  St.  John  Baptist." 

*  The  following  curious  extract  from  Bishop  Pecock's  Repressour,  c.  6,  is  given  by  Lewis,  in 
his  Life  of  that  prelate,  p.  7O :  "  Whanne  men  of  the  cuntree  upload  bringen  into  Londoun,  on 
Mydsomer  Eve,  braunchis  of  trees  from  Bischopis-wode,  and  flouris  fro  the  feeld,  and  bitakcn  tho 
to  citessins  of  Londoun,  for  to  therwith  araie  her  housis,  that  thei  make  therewith  her  houses  gay, 
into  remeinbraunce  of  Seint  Julian  Baptist,  and  of  this,  that  it  was  prophecied  of  him  that  many 
schulden  joie  in  his  burthe." 

In  a  Royal  Household  Account,  communicated  by  Craven  Ord,  esq.  of  the  Exchequer,  I  find  the 
following  article : 

"  23  June,  8  Hen.  VII.  Item,  to  the  making  of  the  Bonefuyer  on  Middesomer  Eve.  x»." 
Mr.  Douce  says  he  does  not  know  whether  Fraunce  in  the  following  passage  from  his  "  Coun- 
tesse  of  Pembroke's  Ivy  Church,"  Part  ii.  sig.  I.  4  b.  alludes  to  the  Midsummer  Eve  Fires, 
"  O  most  mighty  Pales,  which  stil  bar'st  love  to  the  country 
And  poore  countrey  folk,  hast  thou  forgotten  Amvntas  ? 
Now,  when  as  other  gods  have  all  forsaken  Amyntas  ? 
Thou  on  whose  Feast-day  Bone  tires  were  made  by  Amyntas, 
And  quyte  leapt  over  by  the  bouncing  dauncer  Amyntas  ? 


248  SUMMER   SOLSTICE. 

The  learned  Moresin  appears  to  have  been  of  opinion  that  the  custom  of  leap- 
ing over  these  Fires  is  a  vestige  of  the  Ordeal,  where  to  be  able  to  pass  through 
Fires  with  safety  was  held  to  be  an  indication  of  innocence1.  To  strengthen 
the  probability  of  this  conjecture,  we  may  observe  that  not  only  the  young  and 

Thbu,  for  whose  Feast-dayes  great  cakes  ordayned  Amyntas,  »• 

Supping  mylk  with  cakes,  and  casting  mylk  to  the  Bonefyre  ?"  . 

1  "  Flammam  transiliendi  mos  videtur  etiam  priscis  Gruecise  teniporibus  usurpatus  fuisse,  deque 
eo  versus  Sophoclis  in  Antigone  quosdam  intelligendos  putant :  Cum  enim  Ilex  Creon  Polynicis 
cadaver  humare  prohibuisset,  Antigone  autem  ipsius  soror  illud  humo  contexisset,  custodes,  ut 
mortis  pcenam  a  Rege,  constitutara  vitarent,  dicebant  se  paratos  esse  ferruin  candens  manibus  con- 
trectare  &  per  pyram  incedere.  Hotom.  Disput.  de  Feudis.  cap.  xliv.  Hie  mos  Gallis,  Germanis 
et  post  Christianismum  remansit  etiam  pontificibus :  et  adulteria  uxorum  ferro  candente  probant 
Germani.  JEaal.  lib.  iv.  &c. — Et  Vascones  accensis  Ignibus  in  Urbium  vicis  vidi  per  medios  saltare 
ad  Festum  Joanni  sacrum  in  Estate ;  et  qui  funus  antiquitus  prosequuti  fuerant,  ad  proprioa 
Lares  reversi,  aqua  aspersi,  ignem  supergradiebantur,  hoc  se  piaculo  ex  funere  expiari  ar- 
bitrati  &c."  Papatus,  p.  61. 

See  also  in  another  passage :  "  Majores  vero  natu  ad  Festum  D.  Joliannis  sacrum  accensia 
vespere  in  platea  Ignibus,  flammam  transiliunt  stramineam  Mares  et  Freminat:,  pueri,  pupseque,  ac 
fieri  vidi  in  Galliis  inter  Cadurcos  ad  oppidulum  Puy  la  Rocque."  p.  72. 

In  the  Appendix  No.  II.  to  Pennant's  Tour,  Shaw  in  his  Account  of  Elgin  and  the  Shire  of 
Murray,  tells  us  "that,  in  the  middle  of  June,  farmers  go  round  their  corn  with  burning  torches, 
in  memoiy  of  the  Cerealia." 

Every  Englishman  has  heard  of  the  "  Dance  round  our  coal  fire,"  which  receives  illustration 
from  the  probably  an.tie.nt  practice  of  dancing  round  the  Fires  in  our  Inns  of  Court  (and  perhaps 
other  halls  in  ^reat  men's  houses).  This  practice  was  still  in  1733  observed  at  an  entertainment  at 
the  Inner  Temple  Hall,  on  Lord  Chancellor  Talbot's  taking  leave  of  the  house,  when  the  Master 
of  the  Revels  took  the  Chancellor  by  the  hand,  and  he,  Mr.  Page,  who  with  the  Judges,  Serjeants, 
and  Benchers,  danced  round  the  Coal  Fire,  according  to  the  old  ceremony,  three  times,  and  all 
the  times  the  antient  song,  with  music,  was  sung  by  a  man  in  a  Bar  gown."  See  Wynne's  Eu- 
nomus,  iv.  107.  This  dance  is  ridiculed  in  the  dance  in  the  Rehearsal. 

In  the  "  Traite  des  Superstitions,"  &c.  torn.  iii.  p.  455,  we  read:  "  Celui  qui  veut  scavoir  de 
quelle  couleur  seront  les  cheveux  de  la  personne  qu'il  doit  avoir  pour  femme,  n'a  qua  tourner  trois 
tours  autour  du  feu  de  la  Saint  Jean  &  lors  que  le  bois  sera  a  demi  consume,  il  prendra  un  tison,  il 
le  laissera  cteindre,  puis  il  le  mettra  le  soir  avant  que  de  se  coucher  sous  le  chevet  de  son  lit ;  et  de 
lendemain  il  trouvera  autour  dc  ce  tison  des  cheveux  qui  seront,  de  la  couleur  de  ceux  de  sa  future 
Epouse.  II  faut  que  tout  ce  ridicule  manege  se  fasse  a  yeux  clos ;  autrement  on  n'en  a  pas  le 
succes  qu'on  en  espere. 

"  Lorsqu'il  y  a  vine  femme  veuve,  ou  quelque  fille  a  marier  dans  une  inaison,  et  qu'elles  sont  re- 
cherchees  en  manage,  il  faut  bien  se  dormer  de  garde  de  lever  les  tisons  du  feu,  parce  que  cela 
chasse  les  amoureux." 


SUMMER   SOLSTICE.  249 

vigorous  m,  but  even  those  of  grave  characters  used  to  leap  over  them,  and  there 
was  an  interdiction  of  ecclesiastical  authority  to  deter  clergymen"  from  this  su- 
perstitious instance  of  agility  °. 

m  Mr.  Douce  has  a  curious  French  print,  entitled,  "  L'este  k  Fen  de  la  St.  Jean ;"  Mariette  ex. 
In  the  centre  is  the  fire  made  of  wood  piled  up  very  regularly,  and  having  a  tree  stuck  in  the  midst 
of  it.  Young  men  and  women  are  represented  dancing  round  it  hand  in  hand.  Herbs  are  stuck 
in  their  hats  and  caps,  and  garlands  of  the  same  surround  their  waists,  or  are  slung  across  then- 
shoulders.  A  boy  is  represented  carrying  a  large  bough  of  a  tree.  Several  spectators  are  looking 
on.  The  following  lines  are  at  the  bottom : 

"  Que  de  Feux.  bruians  dans  les  airs ! 
Qu'ils  font  une  douce  harmonic ! 
Redoublons  cette  melodic 
Par  nos  dances,  par  nos  concerts  !" 

n  The  sixth  Council  of  Constantinople,  A.  D.  680.  by  its  65th  canon  (cited  by  Prynne  in  his 
Histriomastix,  p.  585),  has  the  following  interdiction  :  "  Those  Bonefires  that  are  kindled  by  cer- 
taine  people  on  New  Moones  before  their  shops  and  houses,  over  which  also  they  use  ridiculously 
and  foolishly  to  leape,  by  a  certaine  antient  custome,  we  command  them  from  henceforth  to  cease. 
Whoever  therefore  shall  doe  any  such  thing ;  if  he  be  a  Clergyman,  let  him  be  deposed  ;  if  a  layman, 
let  him  be  excommunicated.  For,  in  the  Fourth  Book  of  the  Kings,  it  is  thus  written  :  '  And 
Manasseh  built  an  altar  to  all  the  hoast  of  heaven,  in  the  two  courts  of  the  Lord's  house,  and  made 
his  children  to  passe  through  the  Fire,'  &c."  Prynne  observes  upon  this  :  "  Bonefires  therefore 
had  their  originall  from  this  idolatrous  custome,  as  this  General!  Councell  hath  defined ;  therefore 
all  Chribtians  should  avoid  them."  And  the  Synodus  Francica  under  Pope  Zachary,  A.  D.  742, 
cited  ut  supra,  p.  587,  inhibits  "  those  sacrilegious  Fires  which  they  call  Nedfri  (or  Bonefires),  and 
all  other  observations  of  the  Pagans  whatsoever." 

"  Leaping  o'er  a  Midsummer  Bonefire"  is  mentioned  amongst  other  games  in  "  The  Garden  of 
Delight,"  12mo,  1658,  p.  76. 

A  clergyman  of  Devonshire  informed  me  that,  in  that  county,  the  custom  of  making  Bonefires  on 
Midsummer  Eve,  and  of  leaping  over  them,  still  continues. 

In  the  Statistical  Account  of  Scotland,  vol.  xxi.  p.  145,  parish  of  Mongahitter,  it  is  said  :  "  The 
Midsummer  Even  Fire,  a  relict  of  Druidism,  was  kindled  in  some  parts  of  this  county." 

•  Mr.  Douce's  MS  notes  say,  "  It  appears  that  a  watch  was  formerly  kept  in  the  city  of  London 
on  Midsummer  Eve,  probably  to  prevent  any  disorders  that  might  be  committed  on  the  above  oc- 
casion. It  was  laid  down  in  the  20th  year  of  Henry  VIII.  See  Hall's  Chronicle  at  the  latter  end 
of  the  year.  The  Chronicles  of  Stow  and  Byddel  assign  the  sweating  sickness  as  a  cause  for  dis- 
continuing the  watch."  Niccols  says,  the  watches  on  Midsummer  and  St.  Peter's  Eve  were  laid 
down  by  licence  from  the  king,  "  for  that  the  cittie  had  then  bin  charged  with  the  leavie  of  a 
muster  of  15000  men." 

We  read  in  Byddell's  Chronicle,  under  the  year  1527:  "This  yere  was  the  sweatinge  sicknesse, 
for  the  which  cause  there  was  no  watche  at  Mydsommer."  See  also  Graf  ton's  Chronicle,  p.  129O, 

VOL.  1.  K  K 


£50  SUMMER   SOLSTICE. 

The  subsequent  extract  from  the  antient  Calendar  of  the  Romish  Church,  so 
often  cited  in  this  Work,  shews  us  what  doings  there  used  to  be  at  Rome  on 
the  Eve  and  Day  of  St.  John  the  Baptist  : 


"  23.  The  Vigil  of  the  Nativity  of  John  the  Baptist. 
Spices  are  given  at  Vespers. 
Fires  are  lighted  up. 

A  girl  with  a  little  drum  that  proclaims  the  Garland. 
Boys  are  dressed  in  girls  cloathsi. 

in  aim.  1547,  when  the  watch  appears  to  have  been  kept  both  on  St.  John  Baptist's  Eve  and  on 
that  of  St.  Peter. 

Sir  John  Smythe's  "  Instructions,  Observations,  and  Orders  Militarie,"  4to.  Lond.  1595,  p.  129, 
say  :  "  An  Ensigne-bearer  in  the  field,  carrieng  his  ensigne  displayed,  ought  to  carrie  the  same 
upright,  and  never,  neither  in  towne  nor  field,  nor  in  sport,  nor  earnest,  to  fetche  florishes 
about  his  head  with  his  ensign-staffe,  and  taffata  of  his  ensigne,  as  the  Ensigne-bearers  of  London 
do  upon  Midsommer  Night." 

f  "  Juntas. 
"  23.  Vigilia  natalis  Joannis  Baptistae. 

Aromata  dantur  Vesperis. 

Ignes  Hunt. 

Puella  cum  parvo  Tympano,  quod  Coronulam  appellat. 

Pueri  pro  puellis  vestiuntur. 

Cantilenae  ad  liberates,  dirae  et  avaros. 

Aqus  in  nocte  natantur  :  et  pensiles  ad  vaticinium  feruntur. 

Filix  vulgo  in  precio  est  propter  semen. 

Herbse  diverai  generis  quaeruntur  &  multae  fiunt. 

Carduus  puellarum  legitur  et  ab  eisdem  centum  cruces. 
"  24.  Nativitas  Joannis  Baptistae  :  ros  et  novae  frondes  in  precio. 

Solstitium  Vulgare." 

*  Mr.  Douce  has  a  curious  Dutch  Mezzotinto,  representing  one  of  the  Months  —  "  JUNIUS." 
"  C.  Dusart.  inv.  J.  Cole  ex.  Amstelod."  There  is  a  young  figure  (I  think  a  boy  dressed  in  girls 
cloaths)  with  a  garland  of  flowers  about  her  head  ;  two  rows,  seemingly  of  beads,  hang  round  her 
neck,  and  so  loosely  as  to  come  round  a  kind  of  box,  which  she  holds  with  both  hands,  perhaps  to 
solicit  money.  She  has  long  hair  flowing  down  her  back  and  over  her  shoulders.  A  woman  is 
represented  bawling  near  her,  holding  in  her  right  hand  a  bough  of  some  plant  or  tree,  pointing 
out  the  girl  to  the  notice  of  the  spectators  with  her  left.  She  has  a  Thrift-box  hung  before  her. 
Another  woman  holds  the  girl's  train  with  her  right  hand,  and  lays  her  left  on  her  shoulder.  She 
too  appears  to  be  bawling.  The  girl  herself  looks  modestly  down  to  the  ground.  Something  like 
pieces  of  money  hangs  in  loose  festoons  on  her  petticoat. 


SUMMER    SOLSTICE.  251 

Carols  to  the  liberal ;  Imprecations  against  the  avaritious. 

Waters  are  swum  in  during  the  night,  and  are  brought  in  vessels  that 

hang  for  purposes  of  divination. 
Fern  in  great  estimation  with  the  vulgar  on  account  of  its  seedr. 

'  "  Fern-seed  is  looked  on  as  having  great  magical  powers,  and  must  be  gathered  on  Midsum- 
mer Eve.  A  person  who  went  to  gather  it  reported  that  the  Spirits  whisked  by  his  ears,  and  some- 
times struck  his  hat  and  other  parts  of  his  body,  and,  at  length,  when  he  thought  he  had  got  a 
good  quantity  of  it,  and  secured  it  in  papers  and  a  box,  when  he  came  home  he  found  both 
empty.  See  Pandaemonium."  (Grose.) 

Torreblanca,  in  his  "  Daemonologia,"  4to.  Mogunt.  1623,  p.  150,  suspects  those  persons  of 
witchcraft  who  gather  Fern-seed  on  this  night:  "  Vel  si  reperiantur  in  nocte  S.  Joannis  colligendo 
grana  herbaj  Faelicis,  vulgo  Helecho,  qua  Magi  ad  maleficia  sua  utuntur." 

A  respectable  countryman  at  Hcston,  in  Middlesex,  informed  me  in  June  1793,  that,  when  he 
was  a  young  man,  he  was  often  present  at  the  ceremony  of  catching  the  Fern-seed  at  midnight 
on  the  Eve  of  St.  John  Baptist.  The  attempt,  he  said,  was  often  unsuccessful,  for  the  seed  was 
to  fall  into  the  plate  of  its  own  accord,  and  that  too  without  shaking  the  plant. 

Dr.  Rowe,  of  Launceston,  informed  me,  Oct.  17th,  1790,  of  some  rites  with  Fern-seed  which 
were  still  observed  at  that  place. 

"  Fern  is  one  of  those  plants  which  have  their  seed  on  the  back  of  the  leaf,  so  small  as  to  escape 
the  sight.  Those  who  perceived  that  Fern  was  propagated  by  semination,  and  yet  could  never  see 
the  seed,  were  much  at  a  loss  for  a  solution  of  the  difficulty;  and,  as  wonder  always  endeavours 
to  augment  itself,  they  ascribed  to  Fern-seed  many  strange  properties,  some  of  which  the  i-ustick 
Virgins  have  not  yet  forgotten  or  exploded.  (Johnson.) 

"  This  circumstance  relative  to  Fern-seed  is  alluded  to  in  Beaumont  and  Fletcher's  Fair  Maid  of 
the  Inn : 

"  Had  you  Gyges'  ring  ? 

Or  the  herb  that  gives  Invisibility  ?" 

"  Again  in  Ben  Jonson's  New  Inn  : 

"  I  had 

No  medicine,  Sir,  to  go  invisible, 
No  Fern-seed  in  my  pocket." 

"Again,  in  Philemon  Holland's  Translation  of  Pliny,  Book  xxvii.  ch.  9.:  "Of  Feme  be  two 
kinds,  and  they  beare  neither  floure  nor  seed.  (Stevens.) 

"  The  ancients,  who  often  paid  more  attention  to  received  opinions  than  to  the  evidence  of  their 
senses,  believed  that  Fern  bore  no  seed.  Our  ancestors  imagined  that  this  plant  produced  seed 
which  was  invisible.  Hence,  from  an  extraordinary  mode  of  reasoning,  founded  on  the  fantastic 
doctrine  of  Signatures,  they  concluded  that  they  who  possessed  the  secret  of  wearing  this  seed 
about  them  would  become  invisible.  This  superstition  Shakspeare's  good  sense  taught  him  to 
ridicule.  It  was  also  supposed  to  seed  in  the  course  of  a  single  night,  and  is  called,  in  Browne's. 
Britannia's  Pastorals,  1613, 

"The  wond'rous  one-night-seeding  Feme." 


252  SUMMER   SOLSTICE. 

Herbs  of  different  kinds  are  sought,  with  many  ceremonies. 
Girls  Thistle  is  gathered,  and  an  hundred  crosses  by  the  same. 
"  24.  The  nativity  of  John  the  Baptist.     Dew  and  new  Leaves  in  estimation. 

The  Vulgar  Solstice'." 

It  was  the  custom  in  France,  on  Midsummer  Eve,  for  the  people  to  carry 
about  brazen  vessels,  which  they  use  for  culinary  purposes,  and  to  beat  them 
with  sticks  for  the  purpose  of  making  a  great  noise :  a  superstitious  notion  pre- 

"  Absurd  as  these  notions  are,  they  were  not  wholly  exploded  in  the  time  of  Addison.  He  laughs 
at  a  Doctor  who  was  arrived  at  the  knowledge  of  the  green  and  red  Dragon,  and  had  discovered 
the  female  Fern-seed.  Tatler,  No.  240."  See  Reed's  edit,  of  Shakspeare,  8vo.  Lond.  1803,  vol. 
xi.  p.  25. 

In  the  curious  Tract,  intitled,  "  Plaine  Percevall  the  Peace-maker  of  England,"  temp.  Eliz. 
4to.  sign.  C.  3,  is  this  passage :  "  I  thinke  the  mad  slave  hath  tasted  on  a  Ferne-stalke,  that  he 
walkes  so  invisible." 

Butler  alludes  to  this  superstitious  notion.     Hudibras,  Part  III.  Cant.  iii.  3.  4. : 
"That  spring  like  Fern,  that  insect  weed 
Equivocally  without  seed." 

See  also  Gray's  Notes  on  Shakspear,  vol.  i.  p.  333. 

Levinus  Lemnius  tells  us :  "  They  prepare  Fern  gathered  in  the  Summer  Solstice,  pulled  up  in 
a  tempestuous  night,  Rue,  Trifoly,  Vervain,  against  magical  impostures."  English  Translat.  fol. 
Lond.  1658,  p.  392. 

In  a  most  rare  little  book,  intitled,  "  A  Dialoge  or  Communication  of  two  Persons,  devysed 
or  set  forthe,  in  the  Latin  Tonge,  by  the  noble  and  famose  clarke  Desiderius  Erasmus,  intituled, 
The  Pylgremage  of  pure  Devotyon,  newly  translatyd  into  Englishe,"  (no  date :  supposed  to  be 
1551.  See  Herbert's  Ames,  p.  1570.  signat.  C.  7.  b.)  is  the  following  curious  passage :  "Peraventure 
they  ymagyne  the  symylytude  of  a  tode  to  be  there,  evyn  as  we  suppose  when  we  cutte  the  fearne- 
stalke  there  to  be  an  egle,  and  evyn  as  chyldren  (whiche  they  see  nat  indede)  in  the  clowdes,  thynke 
they  see  Dragones  spyttynge  fyre,  and  hylles  flammynge  with  fyre,  and  armyd  men  encounterynge." 

1  The  following  extracts  from  Moresin  illustrate  the  above  observations  in  the  antient  Calendar, 
as  well  as  Stow's  account : 

"Apud  nostros  quoque  proavos,  inolevit  longa  annorum  serie  persuasio  Artemisiam  in  Festis 
divo  Joanni  Baptist®  sacris  ante  domos  suspensam,  item  alios  frutices  et  plantas,  atque  etiam  can- 
delas,  facesque  designatis  quibusdam  diebus  celebrioribus  aqua  lustrali  rigatas,  &c.  contra  tem- 
pestates,  fulmina,  tonitrua,  &  adversus  Diaboli  potestatem,  &c.  quosdam  incendere  ipso  die 
Joannis  Baptistae  fasciculum  lustratarum  herbarum  contra  tonitrua,  fulmina,"  &c.  Papatus,  p.  28. 
"  Toral,  seu  Toralium  antique  tempore  dicebatur  florum  et  herbarum  suaveolentium  manipu- 
lus,  seu  plures  in  restim  colligati,  qui  suspendebantur  ante  Thalamorum  &  Cubilium  fores  :  et 
in  papatu  ad  S.  loannis  mutuato  more  suspendunt  ad  Ostia  &  Januas  hujus  modi  serta  et  restes 
&  saepius  ad  aras."  Ibid.  p.  171. 


SUMMER   SOLSTICE.  853 

vailed  also  with  the  common  people,  that  if  it  rains  about  this  time,  the  filberds 
will  be  spoiled  that  season*. 

Midsummer  Eve  festivities  are  still  kept  up  in  Spain.  At  Alcala,  in  Anda- 
lusia, says  Dalrymple,  in  his  Travels  through  Spain  and  Portugal",  at  twelve 
o'clock  at  night  we  were  much  alarmed  with  a  violent  knocking  at  the  door. 
'  Quein  es  ?'  says  the  landlord ;  '  Isabel  de  San  Juan,'  replied  a  voice  :  he  got 
up,  lighted  the  lamp,  and  opened  the  door,  when  five  or  six  sturdy  fellows, 
armed  with  fuzils,  and  as  many  women,  came  in.  After  eating  a  little  bread, 
and  drinking  some  brandy,  they  took  their  leave ;  and  we  found  that,  it  being 
the  Eve  of  St.  John,  they  were  a  set  of  merry  girls  with  their  lovers,  going 
round  the  village  to  congratulate  their  friends  on  the  approaching  Festival. 

A  gentleman  who  had  resided  long  in  Spain  informed  me,  that  in  the  vil- 
lages they  light  up  Fires  on  St.  John's  Eve,  as  in  England. 

The  "Status  Scholae  Etonensis,  A.  D.  1560,"  (MS.  Donat.  Brit.  Mus.  4843.)  says,  "In  hac 
Vigilia  moris  erat,  (quamdiu  stetit)  pueris,  ornare  lectos  variis  rerum  variarum  picturis,  et  Car- 
mina  de  vita  rebusque  gestis  Joannis  Baptistae  &  praecursoris  componere  :  et  pulchre  exscripta  affi- 
gere  Clinopodiis  lectorum,  eruditis  legenda." 

'  "  Persuasum  denique  est  vulgo,  si  circa  diem  S.  Joannis  pluat,  officere  id  Avellanis.  Causa 
fortasse  est  ipsarum  teneritudo,  humoris  impatiens."  Hospin.  deOrig.  Festor.  Christian,  fol.  113  b. 

In  "  Bucelini  Histories  Universalis  Nucleus,"  12mo.  Aug.  Vind.  1659,  there  is  a  Calendar  inti- 
tled  "  Calendarium  Astronomicum  priscum,"  with  "  Observationes  rustic-re"  at  the  end  of  every 
Month,  among  which  I  find  the  following : 

"  Pluvias  S.  Joannis  40  dies  Pluvii  sequuntur,  certa  nucum  pernicies." 
And  again:  "  2  Julii  pluvia  4o  dies  similes  conducit." 

Bourne  cites  from  the  Trullan  Council  a  singular  species  of  Divination  on  St.  John  Baptist's  Eve ; 
"  On  the  23d  of  June,  which  is  the  Eve  of  St.  John  Baptist,  men  and  women  were  accustomed  to 
gather  together  in  the  evening  by  the  sea-side,  or  in  some  certain  houses,  and  there  adorn  a  girl, 
who  was  her  parents  first-begotten  child,  after  the  manner  of  a  bride.  Thin  they  feasted  and  leaped 
after  the  manner  of  Bacchanals,  and  danced  and  shouted  as  they  were  wont  to  do  on  their  holy- 
days  :  after  this  they  poured  into  a  narrow-neck'd  vessel  some  of  the  sea-water,  and  put  also  into  it 
certain  things  belonging  to  each  of  them.  Then,  as  if  the  Devil  gifted  the  girl  with  the  faculty  of 
telling  future  things,  they  would  enquire  with  a  loud  voice  about  the  good  or  evil  fortune  that 
should  attend  them :  upon  this  the  girl  would  take  out  of  the  vessel  the  first  thing  that  came  to 
hand,  and  shew  it,  and  give  it  to  the  owner,  who,  upon  receiving  it,  was  so  foolish  as  to  imagine 
himself  wiser,  as  to  the  good  or  evil  fortune  that  should  attend  him."  The  Words  of  the  Scho- 
liast, Can.  65.  in  Syn.  Trul.  in  Bals.  P.  440.  Bourne,  chap.  xx. 

"  Edit.  8vo.  Dubl.  1777,  p.  10. 


2.54  SUMMER   SOLSTICE. 

The  boys  of  Eton  School  had  antiently  their  Bonefires  at  Midsummer,  on 
St  John's  Day w. 

Bonefires  were  lately,  or  still  continue  to  be  made,  on  Midsummer  Eve,  in 
the  villages  of  Gloucestershire". 

They  still  prevail  also,  on  the  same  occasion,  in  the  Northern  parts  of  Eng- 
land y. 

Mr.  Pennant's  Manuscript,  which  I  have  so  often  cited,  informs  us  that 
small  Bonefires  are  made  on  the  Eve  of  St.  John  Baptist  at  Darowen,  in  Wales. 

Hutchinson,  in  his  History  of  Northumberland,  vol.  ii.  ad  finem,  p.  15,  says 
it  is  usual  to  raise  fires  on  the  tops  of  high  hills,  and  in  the  villages,  and  sport 
and  dance  around  them. 

On  Whiteborough  (a  large  tumulus  with  a  foss  round  it),  on  St.  Stephen's 
down,  near  Launceston,  in  Cornwall,  as  I  learnt  at  that  place  in  October  1790, 
there  was  formerly  a  great  Bonefire  on  Midsummer  Eve:  a  large  Summer  Pole 

w  "  Mense  Junii,  in  Festo  Natalis  D.  Johannis  post  matutinas  preces,  dura  consuetudo  floruit, 
accedebant  omnes  scholastic!  ad  Rogum  extructum  in  Oriental!  regioue  Templi,  ubi  reverenter  a 
.Symphoniacis  cantatis  tribus  Antiphonis,  et  pueris  in  ordine  stantibus  venitur  ad  merendam." 

"  In  Festo  D.  Petri  idem  mos  observetur  qui  supra." 

"  In  Translatione  D.  Thomas  (mense  Julii)  solebant  Rogum  construere,  sed  nee  ornare  lectos, 
nee  carmina  componere,  sed  ludere  si  placet  Preceptor!."  Status  Scholae  Etonensis,  A.  D.  1560. 
ut  supra. 

1  So  I  was  informed  in  passing  through  that  county  from  Bath  to  Oxford,  Janury  21st,  1786. 

In  the  Ordinary  of  the  Company  of  Cooks  at  Newcastle-upon-Tyne,  dated  1575,  I  find  the  fol- 
lowing clause :  "  And  alsoe  that  the  said  Felloship  of  Cookes  shall  yearelie  of  theire  owne  cost 
and  charge  mainteigne  and  keep  the  Bone-fires,  according  to  the  auntient  custome  of  the  said 
towne  on  the  Sand-hill ;  that  is  to  say,  one  Bone-fire  on  the  Even  of  the  Feast  of  the  Nativitie  of 
St.  John  Bastist,  commonly  called  Midsomer  Even,  and  the  other  on  the  Even  of  the  Feast  of 
St.  Peter  the  Apostle,  if  it  shall  please  the  Maior  and  Aldermen  of  the  said  towne  for  the  time 
being  to  have  the  same  Bone- tires." 

In  Dekker's  "Seaven  deadly  Sinnes  of  London,"  4to.  1606,  signal.  D.  2.  speaking  of  "Candle- 
light, or  the  Nocturnall  Triumph,"  he  says  :  "  what  expectation  was  there  of  his  coming  ?  setting 
aside  the  Bonfiers,  there  is  not  more  triumphing  on  Midsomtner  Night." 

In  Langley's  Polydore  Vergil,  fol.  103,  we  read :  "  Oure  Midsomer  Bonefyres  may  seme  to 
have  comme  of  the  sacrifices  of  Ceres  Goddesse  of  Come,  that  men  did  solemnise  with  fyres, 
trusting  therby  to  have  more  plenty  and  aboundance  of  corne." 

i  Hutchinson,  in  his  History  of  Cumberland,  vol.  i.  p.  177,  speaking  of  the  parish  of  Cum- 
•whitton,  says:  "They  hold  the  Wake  on  the  Eve  of  St.  John,  with  lighting  Fires,  dancing,  &c. 
The  old  Bel-teing." 


SUMMER   SOLSTICE.  25$ 

tvas  fixed  in  the  centre,  round  which  the  fuel  was  heaped  up.  It  had  a  large 
bush  on  the  top  of  itz.  Round  this  were  parties  of  wrestlers  contending  for 
small  prizes.  An  honest  countryman  informed  me,  who  had  often  been  present 
at  these  merriments,  that  at  one  of  them  an  evil  spirit  had  appeared  in  the 
shape  of  a  black  dog,  since  which  none  could  wrestle,  even  in  jest,  without  re- 
ceiving hurt :  in  consequence  of  which  the  wrestling  was,  in  a  great  measure,  laid 
aside.  The  rustics  hereabout  believe  that  giants  are  buried  in  these  tumuli, 
and  nothing  would  tempt  them  to  be  so  sacrilegious  as  to  disturb  their  bones. 

Hutchinson,  in  his  History  of  Northumberland,  mentions  another  custom 
used  on  this  day ;  it  is,  "  to  dress  out  stools  with  a  cushion  of  flowers.  A  layer  of 
day  is  placed  on  the  stool,  and  therein  is  stuck,  with  great  regularity,  an  ar- 
rangement of  all  kinds  of  flowers,  so  close  as  to  form  a  beautiful  cushion. 
These  are  exhibited  at  the  doors  of  houses  in  the  villages,  and  at  the  ends  of 
streets  and  cross-lanes  of  larger  towns,"  (this  custom  is  very  prevalent  in  the  citv 
of  Durham,)  "where  the  attendants  beg  money  from  passengers,  to  enable  them 
to  have  an  evening  feast  and  dancing*." 

Dr.  Plott,  in  his  History  of  Oxfordshire,  p.    349b,  mentions  a  custom  at 


1  The  Boundary  of  each  Tin-mine  in  Cornwall  is  marked  by  a  long  Pole,  with  a  bush  at  the 
top  of  it.  These  on  St.  John's  Day  are  crowned  with  flowers. 

a  He  adds :  "  This  custom  is  evidently  derived  from  the  Ludi  Compitalii  of  the  Romans  ;  this 
appellation  was  taken  from  the  Compita,  or  Cross  Lanes,  where  they  were  instituted  and  cele- 
brated by  the  multitude  assembled  before  the  building  of  Rome.  Servius  Tullius  revived  this  Fes- 
tival after  it  had  been  neglected  for  many  years.  It  was  the  Feast  of  the  Lares,  or  Household 
Gods,  who  presided  as  well  over  houses  as  streets.  This  mode  of  adorning  the  seat  or  couch  of 
the  Lares  was  beautiful,  and  the  idea  of  reposing  them  on  aromatic  flowers,  and  beds  of  roses, 
was  excellent." — "  We  are  not  told  there  was  any  custom  among  the  Romans  of  strangers  or  pas- 
sengers bffering  gifts.  Our  modern  usage  of  all  these  old  customs  terminates  in  seeking  to  gain 
money  for  a  merry  night." 

b  "  Habent  hoc  a  Gentibus,  antiquitus  enim  Dracones  hoc  tenipore  ad  libidinem  propter  calo- 
rem  excitati,  volando  per  aerem  frequenter  in  puteos  et  fontes  spermatizabant,  ex  quo,  &c.  (By 
this  means  the  water  became  infected,  and  the  air  polluted :  so  that  whoever  drank  the  waters 
was  either  tormented  with  a  grievous  distemper  or  lost  his  life.)  Quod  attendentes  Philosophi, 
ignem  frequenter  &  passim  circa  jusserunt  fontes  fieri  &  puteos  et  quaecunque  immunda  &  im- 
inundum  redderent  fumum,  ibi  cremari,  &c.  Et  quia  tali  hoc  tempore  maxime  fiebant,  ideo  hoc 
adhuc  ab  aliquibus  observatur."  Durand.  lib.  vii.  cap.  14.  &  Belith.  in  eodem  Festo. 

The  Dragon  is  one  of  those  shapes  which  fear  has  created  to  itself.    They  who  gave  it  life,  harft 


£56  SUMMER   SOLSTICE. 

Burlbrd,  in  that  county  (yet  within  memory),  of  making  a  Dragon  yearly,  and 
carrying  it  up  and  down  the  town  in  great  jollity,  on  Midsummer  Eve ;  to 


it  seems,  furnished  it  also  with  the  feelings  of  aiiimated  nature :  but  our  modern  philosophers  are 
wiser  than  to  attribute  any  noxious  qualities  in  water  to  Dragons  sperm. 

Gibbon,  in  his  Decline  and  Fall  of  the  Roman  Empire,  vol.  vi.  p.  392,  edit.  1788,  speaking  of 
the  times  of  the  British  Arthur,  tells  us  that  "  Pilgrimage  and  the  Holy  "Wars  introduced  into 
Europe  the  specious  miracles  of  Arabian  magic  j  Fairies  and  Giants,  flying  Dragons,  &c.  were 
blended  with  the  more  simple  fictions  of  the  West." 

It  appears  from  "  The  Husbandman's  Practice,  or  Prognostication  for  ever,"  8vo.  Lond.  1664, 
p.  105,  that  a  kind  of  fiery  Meteors  in  the  air  were  called  "  Burning  Dragons." 

In  a  curious  Book,  intitled,  "  A  wonderful  History  of  all  the  Storms,  Hurricanes,  Earthquakes, 
&c."  8vo.  Lond.  1704,  p.  66,  is  the  following  account  of  "  Fiery  Dragons  and  Fiery  Drakes  ap- 
pearing in  the  air,  and  the  cause  of  them.  These  happen  when  the  vapours  of  a  diy  and  fiery 
nature  are  gathered  in  a  heap  in  the  air,  which  ascending  to  the  region  of  cold,  are  forcibly  beat 
back  with  a  violence,  and  by  a  vehement  agitation  kindled  into  a  flame ;  then  the  highest  part 
which  was  ascending,  being  more  subtile  and  thin,  appeareth  as  a  Dragon's  neck  smoaking ;  for 
that  it  was  lately  bowed  in  the  repulse,  or  made  crooked,  to  represent  the  Dragon's  belly ;  the 
last  part,  by  the  same  repulse  turned  upwards,  maketh  the  tail,  appearing  smaller,  for  that  it  is 
both  further  off,  and  also  the  cloud  bindeth  it,  and  so  with  impetuous  motion  it  flies  terribly  in 
the  air,  and  sometimes  turneth  to  and  fro,  and  where  it  meeteth  with  a  cold  cloud  it  beateth  it 
back,  to  the  great  terror  of  them  that  behold  it.  Some  call  it  a  Fire-Drake,  others  have  fancied 
it  is  the  Devil,  and,  in  popish  times  of  ignorance,  various  superstitious  discourses  have  gone 
about  it." 

In  a  rare  work  by  Thomas  Hill,  intitled,  "A  Contemplation  of  Mysteries,"  &c.  12mo.  Lond. 
t.  Eliz.  b.  I.  signat.  E.  1.  is  a  chapter  "  Of  the  flying  Dragon  in  the  Ayre,  what  the  same  is,"  (with 
a  neat  wooden  print  of  it.)  Here  he  tells  us  :  "  The  flying  Dragon,  is  when  a  fume  kindled  ap- 
peereth  bended,  and  is  in  the  middle  wrythed  like  the  belly  of  a  Dragon  :  but  in  the  fore  part,  for 
the  narrownesse,  it  representeth  the  figure  of  the  neck,  from  whence  the  sparkes  are  breathed  or 
forced  forth  with  the  same  breathing."  He  concludes  his  wretched  attempt  to  explain  it,  with 
attributing  this  phenomenon  to  "thepollicie  of  Devils  and  Inchantments  of  the  Wicked."  As- 
serting that,  "in  the  yere  1532,  in  manye  countries,  were  Dragons  crowned  scene  flying,  by  flocks 
or  companies  in  the  ayre,  having  swines  snowtes :  and  sometimes  were  there  scene  foure  hun- 
dred flying  togither  in  a  companie." 

In  the  Statistical  Account  of  Scotland,  vol.  vi.  p.  467,  8vo.  Edinb.  1793,  parish  of  New-Machar, 
Presbytery  and  Synod  of  Aberdeen,  we  read  :  "  In  the  end  of  November  and  beginning  of  Decem- 
ber last  (1792)  many  of  the  country  people  observed  very  uncommon  phenomena  in  the  air 
(which  they  call  Dragons)  of  a  red  fiery  colour,  appearing  in  the  North,  and  flying  rapidly  to- 
wards the  East,  from  which  they  concluded,  and  their  conjectures  were  right,  a  course  of  loud 
winds  and  boisterous  weather  would  follow."  In  the  same  work,  vol.  xiii.  p.  99,  8vo.  Edinb.  1794, 


SUMMER   SOLSTICE.  257 

which,  he  says,  not  knowing  for  what  reason,  they  added  a  GIANTP. 

It  is  curious  to  find  Dr.  Plott  attributing  the  cause  of  this  general  custom  to 
a  particular  event.     In  his  Oxfordshire,  fol.  203,  he  tells  us  "  that,  ahout  the 

Parish  ol  Strathmartin,  County  of  Forfar,  we  read :  "  In  the  North  end  of  the  Parish  is  a  large 
stone,  called  Martin's  Stone."  "  Tradition  says,  that,  at  the  place  where  the  stone  is  erected,  a 
Dragon,  which  had  devoured  nine  maidens,  (who  had  gone  out  on  a  Sunday  evening,  one  after 
another,  to  fetch  spring-water  to  their  father,)  was  killed  by  a  person  called  Martin,  and  that 
hence  it  was  called  Martin's  Stone." 

Borlase  tells  us,  in  his  Antiquities  of  Cornwall,  p.  137,  that  in  most  parts  of  Wales,  and 
throughout  all  Scotland,  and  in  Cornwall,  we  find  it  a  common  opinion  of  the  vulgar,  that 
about  Midtummer-Eve  (tho1  in  the  time  they  do  not  all  agree)  it  is  usual  for  Snakes  to  meet  in 
companies,  and  that,  by  joyning  heads  together  and  hissing,  a  kind  of  bubble  is  fonn'd,  which 
the  rest,  by  continual  hissing,  blow  on  till  it  passes  quite  thro'  the  body,  and  then  it  immediately 
hardens,  and  resembles  a  glass-ring,  which  whoever  finds  (as  some  old  women  and  children  are 
persuaded)  shall  prosper  in  all  his  undertakings.  The  rings  thus  generated  are  call'd  Gleineu  Na- 
droeth,  in  English,  Snake-stones." 

In  the  printed  Accounts  of  the  Churchwardens  of  St.  Margaret  Westminster,  (Illustrations  of 
the  Manners  and  Expences  of  Ancient  Times  in  England,  4to.  Lond.  1797,  p.  3,)  under  the  year 
1491.  are  the  following  Items: 

"  Item,  Received  of  the  Churchwardens  of  St.  Sepulcre's  for  the  Dragon,     2s.  Sd. 
Item,  Paid  for  dressing  of  the  Dragon  and  for  packthread       -     -     -     -  ..s.  ..d." 

Ibid.  p.  4,  under  1502: 

"Item,  to  Michell  Woscbyche  for  making  of  viii  Dragons    -----  6?.  8d." 

c  In  King's  Vale  Royal  of  England,  p.  208,  we  learn  that  Henry  Hardware,  esq.  mayor  of 
Chester  in  1599,  "for  his  time,  altered  many  antient  customs,  as  the  shooting  for  the  sheriff's 
breakfast;  the  going  of  the  Giants  at  Midsommer;  &c.  and  would  not  suffer  any  playes,  bear-baits, 
or  bull-bait." 

Puttenham,  in  his  "Arte  of  English  Pocsie,"  4to.  1589,  p.  128,  speaks  of  "  Midsommer  Pagcanti 
IN  LONDON,  where,  to  make  the  people  wonder,  arc  set  forth  great  and  uglie  GVANTS,  marching 
as  if  they  were  alive,  and  armed  at  all  points,  but  within  they  are  stuffed  full  of  browne  paper  and 
tow,  which  the  shrewd  boyes,  underpeering,  do  guilefully  discover  and  turne  to  a  greate  derision." 

In  Smith's  Latin  poem,  "  de  Urbis  Londini  Incendio,"  4to.  Lond.  1GG7,  the  carrying  ahout  of 
pageants  once  a  year  is  confirmed : 

"Guildhall."     " Te  jam  fata  vocant,  eublimis,  Curia,  moles; 

Purpureus  Prretor  qua  sua  jura  dedit. 
Qua  solitus  toties  lautis  accumbere  mensis, 

Annua  cum  renovat  Pcgmata  celsa  dies ; 
Qua  senior  populus  venit,  populique  Senatus, 

Donee  erant  istis  prospera  fata  locis." 

And  in  the  old  play  called  "The  Dutch  Courtezan,"  we  read :  "Yet  all  will  scarce  make  me  so 
VOL.   I.  I  L 


SUMMER   SOLSTICE. 

year  750,  a  battle  was  fought  near  Burford,  perhaps  on  the  place  still  called 
Battle-Edge,  West  of  the  town  towards  Upton,  between  Cuthred  or  Cuthbert, 

high  as  one  of  the  Gyants'  ttilts  that  stalks  before  my  Lord  Maior's  Pageants."     See  Marston'a 
Works,  8vo.  Lond.  1633,  siguat.  B.  b.  3.  b. 

This  circumstance  may  perhaps  explain  the  origin  of  the  enormous  figures  still  preserved  in 

Guildhall. 

[From  the  "  New  View  of  London,"  vol.  ii.  p.  607,  it  should  appear  that  the  statues  of  Gog  and 
Magog  were  renewed  in  that  edifice  in  1~06.  The  older  figures,  however,  are  noticed  by  Bishop 
Hall,  in  his  Satires,  who,  speaking  of  an  angry  poet,  says,  he 

"  makes  such  faces,  that  mee  seemes  I  see 

Some  foul  Megaera  in  the  tragedie 
Threat'ning  her  twined  snakes  at  Tantales  ghost  ; 
Or  the  grim  visage  of  some  frowning  post, 
The  crab-tree  porter  of  the  Guild  Hall  Gates, 
While  he  his  frightfull  Beetle  eleuates." 

Book  vi.  Sat.  1.] 

Stow  mentions  the  older  figures  as  representations  of  a  Briton  and  a  Saxon.  See  Pennant'f 
London,  4to.  London,  1793,  p.  374.  See  also  Malcolm's  Londinium  Redivivum,  vol.  iii.  p.  525 ; 
and  "  The  Picture  of  London,"  l<3mo.  19O4,  p.  131. 

The  Giants  are  thus  noticed   in   the   Latin  Poem,  "  Londini  tjuod  reliquum,"  4to.  Lond. 

1667,  p.  7 : 

"  Haud  procul,  excelsis  olim  Praetoria  pinnis 

Surgebant  Pario  marmore  fulsit  opus. 
Alta  duo  JEtnei  servabant  atria  fratres, 

Praetextaque  frequens  splenduit  aula  toga. 
Hie  populo  Augustus  reddebat  jura  Senatus, 

Et  sua  Prastori  sella  curulis  erat. 
Sed  neque  Vulcanum  Juris  reverentia  cepit, 

Tula  Satellitio  nee  fuit  Aula  suo. 
Vidit,  et  exurgas,  dixit,  speciosior  Aula 

Atque  frequens  solita  Curia  lite  strepat." 

Bragg  says,  in  his  Observer,  Dec.  25,  1706,  "  I  was  hemmed  in  like  a  wrestler  in  Moorfields ; 
the  cits  begged  the  colours  taken  at  Ramilies,  to  put  up  in  Guildhall.  When  I  entered  the  Hall, 
I  protest,  Master,  I  never  saw  so  much  joy  in  the  countenances  of  the  people  in  my  life,  as  in  the 
cits  on  this  occasion ;  nay,  the  very  Giants  stared  at  the  colours  with  all  the  eyes  they  had,  and 
smiled  as  well  as  they  could."  Malcolm's  Londinium  Redivivum,  vol.  iii.  p.  534. 

In  "  Grosley's  Tour  to  London,"  translated  by  Nugent,  8vo.  Lond.  1772,  vol.  ii.  p.  88,  we  find 
the  following  passage  : 

"  The  English  have,  in  general,  rambling  taste  for  the  several  objects  of  the  Polite  Arts,  which 
does  not  even  exclude  the  Gothic :  it  still  prevails,  not  only  in  ornaments  of  fancy,  but  even  in 


SUMMER   SOLSTICE.  259 

a  tributary  king  of  the  West  Saxons,  and  Ethelbald  king  of  Mercia,  whose  in- 
supportable exactions  the  former  king  not  being  able  to  endure,  he  came  into 


some  modern  buildings.  To  this  taste  they  are  indebted  for  the  preservation  of  the  two  Giants  in 
Guildhall.  These  Giants,  in  comparison  of  which  the  Jacquemard  of  St.  Paul's  at  Paris  is  a 
bauble,  seem  placed  there  for  no  other  end  but  to  frighten  children  :  the  better  to  answer  this 
purpose,  care  has  frequently  been  taken  to  renew  the  daubing  on  their  faces  and  arms.  There 
might  be  some  reason  for  retaining  those  monstrous  figures  if  they  were  of  great  antiquity,  or  if,  like 
the  stone  which  served  as  the  first  throne  to  the  Kings  of  Scotland,  and  is  carefully  preserved  at 
Westminster,  the  people  looked  upon  them  as  the  palladium  of  the  nation ;  but  they  have  nothing  to 
recommend  them,  and  they  only  raise,  at  first  view,  a  surprize  in  foreigners,  who  must  consider 
them  as  a  production,  in  which  both  Danish  and  Saxon  barbarism  are  happily  combined." 

In  the  Churchwardens'  Accounts  of  St.  Andrew  Hubbard  parish,  in  the  city  of  London,  A.  D. 
1533  to  1535,  we  have: 

"  Receyvyd  for  the  Jeyantt  xixd." 

Receyvyd  for  the  Jeyantt  Us.  viijd." 
perhaps  alluding  to  some  parochial  Midsummer  Pageant. 

If  the  following  Scottish  custom,  long  ago  forgotten  in  the  city  of  Edinburgh,  is  not  to  be  re- 
ferred to  the  Midsummer  Eve  festivities,  I  know  not  in  what  class  to  rank  it.  Warton,  in  hi.* 
History  of  English  Poetry,  vol.  ii.  p.  310,  speaking  of  Sir  David  Lyndesay,  a  Scottish  poet,  under 
James  the  Fifth,  tells  us  :  "  Among  antient  peculiar  customs  now  lost,  he  mentions  a  superstitious 
Idol  annually  carried  about  the  streets  of  Edinburgh  : 

"  Of  Edingburgh  the  great  idolatrie, 

And  manifest  abominatioun ! 
On  thare  feist-day ,  all  creature  may  see, 

Thay  beir  one  ALD  STOK-IMAGE  throw  the  toun, 
With  talbrone,  trumpet,  thalme,  and  clarioun, 

Quhilk  has  bene  usit  mony  one  yeir  bigone, 
With  priestis  and  freris,  into  processioun, 

Siclyke  as  Bal  was  borne  through  Babilon." 

"  He  also  speaks  of  the  people  nocking  to  be  cured  of  various  infirmities,  to  the  auld  rude,  or  cross, 
of  Kerrail."  Warton  explains  "  aid  Stok-image"  to  mean  an  old  image  made  of  a  stock  of  wood  : 
as  he  does  ".Talbrone"  by  Tabor.  The  above  passage  is  from  Sir  David  Lyndesay 's  "Monarchic," 
signat.  H.  iii. 

On  the  subject  of  Giants,  it  may  be  curious  to  add  that  Dr.  Milner,  in  his  History  of  Winches- 
ter, 4to.  1798,  p.  8,  speaking  of  the  gigantic  statue  that  inclosed  a  number  of  human  victims, 
among  the  Gauls,  gives  us  this  new  intelligence  concerning  it :  "  In  different  places  on  the  oppo- 
site side  of  the  Channel,  where  we  are  assured  that  the  rites  in  question  prevailed  ;  amongst  the 
rest  at  Dunkirk  and  Douay,  it  has  been  an  immemorial  custom,  on  a  certain  holiday  in  the  year, 
to  build  up  an  immense  figure  of  basket-work  and  canvas,  to  the  height  of  forty  or  fifty  feet, 
which,  when  properly  painted  and  dressed,  represented  a  huge  Giant,  which  also  contained  a  num- 
ber of  living  men  within  it,  who  raised  the  same,  and  caused  it  to  move  from  place  to  place.  The 


260  SUMMER   SOLSTICE. 

the  field  against  Ethelbald,  met,  and  overthrew  him  there,  winning  his  banner, 
whereon  was  depicted  a  golden  Dragon :  in  remembrance  of  which  victory  he 
supposes  the  custom  was,  in  all  likelihood,  first  instituted. 

So  far  from  being  confined  to  Burford,  we  find  our  Dragon  flying  on  this  oc- 
casion in  Germany:  thus  J.  B.  Aubanus,  p.  270:  "Ignis  fit,  cui  Orbiculi  qui- 
dam  lignei  perforati  imponuntur,  qui  quum  inflammantur,  flexilibus  virgis  prae- 
fixi,  arte  et  vi  in  aerem  supra  Moganum  amnem  excutiuntur :  Draconem  igneum 
volare  putant,  qui  prius  non  viderunt." 

In  a  most  rare  poem,  intitled,  "  London's  Artillery,"  by  Richard  Niccolls,  4to. 
1616,  p.  97,  is  preserved  the  following  description  of  the  great  doings  antiently 
used  in  the  streets  of  London  on  the  Vigils  of'  St.  Peter  and  ST.  JOHN  BAP- 
TIST: "when,"  says  our  author,  "that  famous  marching-watch  consisting  of  two 
thousand,  beside  the  standing-watches,  were  maintained  in  this  citie.  It  con- 
tinued from  temp.  Henfie  III.  to  the  31st  of  Henry  VIII.  when  it  was  laid  down 
by  licence  from  the  King,  and  revived  (for  that  year  only)  by  Sir  Thomas 
Gresham,  Lord  Mayor.  2  Edw.  VI." 

"That  once  againe  they  seek  and  imitate 

Their  ancestors,  in  kindling  those  fairs  lights 

Which  did  illustrate  these  two  famous  nights. 

When  drums  and  trumpets  sounds,   which  do  delight 

A  chearefnl  heart,  waking  the  drowzie  night, 

Did  fright  the  wandring  Moonc,  who,  from  her  spheare 

Beholding  Earth  beneath,  lookt  pale  with  feare, 

To  see  the  aire  appearing  all  on  flame, 

Kindled  by  thy  Bon-fires,  and  from  the  same 

A  thousand  sparkes  disperst  througJwut  the  skie, 

Which  like  to  wand  ring  starres  about  didfiie; 

Whose  holesome  heate,  purging  the  aire,  consumes 

The  earths  s  unwholesome  vapors,  fogges,  and  fumes t 

The  wakeful!  shepheard  by  his  flocke  in  field, 

With  wonder  at  that  time  farre  oft'  beheld 

The  wanton  shine  of  thy  triumphant  fiers, 

Playing  upon  the  tops  of  thy  tall  spiers: 

popular  tradition  was,  that  this  figure  represented  a  certain  Pagan  Giant,  who  used  to  devour  the 
inhabitants  of  these  places,  until  he  was  killed  by  the  Patron  Saint  of  the  same.  Have  not  we 
here  a  plain  trace  of  the  horrid  sacrifices  of  Druidism,  offered  up  to  Saturn,  or  Moloch,  and  of 
the  beneficial  effect  of  Christianity  hi  destroying  the  same  •" 


SUMMER    SOLSTICE.  26'1 

Thy  goodly  buildings,  that  till  then  did  hide 
Their  rich  array,  opened  their  winduwes  wide, 
Where  kings,  great  peeres,  and  many  a  noble  dame, 
Whose  bright,  pearle-glittering  robes,  did  mocke  the  flame 
Of  the  night's  burning  lights,  did  sit  to  see 
How  every  senator,  in  his  degree, 
Adorned  with  shining  gold  and  purple  weeds 
And  stately  mounted  on  rich-trapped  steeds, 
Their  guard  attending,  through  the  streets  did  ride 
Before  their  foot-bands,  grac'd  with  glittering  pride 
Of  rich-guilt  armes,  whose  glory  did  present 
A  sunshine  to  the  eye,  as  if  it  ment, 
Amongst  the  cresset  lights  shot  up  on  hie, 
To  chase  clarke  night  for  ever  from  the  skie  : 
While  in  the  streets  the  stickelers  to  and  fro, 
To  keepe  decorum,  still  did  come  and  go ; 
Where  tables  set  were  plentifully  spread, 
And  at  each  doore  neighbor  with  neighbor  fed, 
Where  modest  Mirth,  attendant  at  the  feast, 
With  Plentye,  gave  content  to  every  guest, 
Where  true  good  will  crowrfd  cups  with  fruitful!  wine, 
And  neighbors  in  true  love  did  fast  combine, 
Where  the  Lawes  picke  purse,    strife  ''twut  friend  and  friend, 
JSy  reconcilement  happily  tceke  end. 
A  happy  time,   when  men  knew  how  to  use 
The  gifts  of  happy  peace,  yet  not  abuse 
Their  quiet  rest  with  rust  of  ease,  so  farre 
As  to  forget  all  discipline  of  warre." 

A  Note  says :  "  King  Henrie  the  Eighth,  approving  this  marching  watch, 
as  an  auncient  commendable  custome  of  this  cittie,  lest  it  should  decay  thro' 
neglect  or  covetousncsse,  in  the  first  yeare  of  his  reigne,  came  privately  dis- 
guised in  one  of  his  guard's  coates  into  Cheape,  on  Midsommer  Even,  and  see- 
ing the  same  at  that  time  performed  to  his  content,  to  countenance  it,  and  make 
it  more  glorious  by  the  presence  of  his  person,  came  after  on  St.  Peter's  Even, 
with  Queen  Katherine,  attended  by  a  noble  traine,  riding  in  royall  state  to 
the  King's-heade  in  Cheape,  there  to  behold  the  same;  and  after,  anno  15.  of 


J6"2  SUMMER   SOLSTICE. 

his  reigne,  Christerne,  King  of  Denmarke,  with  his  Queene,  being  then  in 
England,  was  conducted  through  the  cittie  to  the  King's-heade,  in  Cheape,  there 
to  see  the  samed." 

Plays  appear  to  have  been  acted  publicly  about  this  time.  We  read  in  King's 
Vale  Royal,  p.  88,  that  "Anno  1575.  This  year  Sir  John  Savage,  maior, 
caused  the  Popish  Plays  of  Chester  to  be  played  the  Sunday,  Munday,  Tues- 
day, and  Wednesday  after  Mid-sommer-Day,  in  contempt  of  an  Inhibition,  and 
the  Primat's  Letters  from  York,  and  from  the  Earl  of  Huntingdon."  In  the 
same  Work,  p.  199,  it  is  said  :  "Anno  1563,  upon  the  Sunday  after  Midsum- 
mer Day,  the  History  of  Eneas  and  Queen  Dido  was  play'd  in  the  Roods 
Eye ;  and  were  set  out  by  one  William  Croston,  gent,  and  one  Mr.  Man,  on 
which  triumph  there  was  made  two  forts  and  shipping  on  the  water,  besides 
many  horsemen  well  armed  and  appointed." 

In  Lyte's  translation  of  Dodocn's  Her  ball,  fol.  Lond.  1578,  p.  39,  we  read  : 
"  Orpyne.  The  people  of  the  countrey  delight  much  to  set  it  in  pots  and  shelles 


d  "  In  Nottingham,  by  an  antient  custom,  they  keep  yearly  a  general  watch  ever  Midsummer 
Eve  at  night,  to  which  every  inhabitant  of  any  ability  sets  forth  a  man,  as  well  voluntaries  as  those 
who  are  charged  with  arms,  with  such  munition  as  they  have;  some  pikes,  some  muskets,  enliven, 
or  other  guns,  some  partisans,  holberts,  and  such  as  have  armour  send  their  servants  in  their 
armour.  The  number  of  these  are  yearly  almost  two  hundred,  who  at  sun-setting  meet  on  the 
Row,  the  most  open  part  of  the  town,  where  the  Mayor's  Seijeant  at  Mace  gives  them  an  oath, 
the  tenor  whereof  followeth,  in  these  words  :  '  They  shrill  well  and  truly  keep  this  town  till  to- 
morrow at  the  sun-rising ;  you  shall  come  into  no  house  without  license,  or  cause  reasonable. 
Of  all  manner  of  casualties,  of  fire,  of  crying  of  children,  you  shall  due  warning  make  to  the 
parties,  as  the  case  shall  require  you.  You  shall  due  search  make  of  all  manner  of  affrays,  bloud- 
sheds,  outcrys,  and  of  all  other  things  that  be  suspected,'  &c.  Which  done,  they  all  march  in 
orderly  array  through  the  principal  parts  of  the  town,  and  then  they  are  sorted  into  several  com- 
panies, and  designed  to  several  parts  of  the  town,  where  they  are  to  keep  the  watch  untill  the  sun 
dismiss  them  in  the  morning.  In  this  business  the  fashion  is  for  every  watchman  to  wear  a 
garland,  made  in  the  fashion  of  a  crown  imperial,  bedeck'd  with  flowers  of  various  kinds, 
some  natural,  some  artificial,  bought  and  kept  for  that  purpose,  as  also  ribbans,  jewels,  and, 
for  the  better  garnishing  whereof,  the  townsmen  use  the  day  before  to  ransack  the  gardens  of 
all  the  gentlemen  within  six  or  seven  miles  about  Nottingham,  besides  what  the  town  itself  affords 
them,  their  greatest  ambition  being  to  outdo  one  another  in  the  bravery  of  their  garlands." 
Deering's  Nottingham,  p.  133,  from  an  old  anonymous  authority.  He  adds:  "This  custom  is 
now  quite  left  off."  "  It  used  to  be  kept  in  this  town  even  so  lately  as  the  reign  of  King  Charles  I." 


SUMMER    SOLSTICE. 

on  Midsummer  Even,  or  upon  timber,  slattes,  or  trenchers,  dawbed  with  clay, 
and  so  to  set  or  hang  it  up  in  their  houses,  where  as  it  remayneth  greene  a  long 
season  and  groweth,  if  it  be  sometimes  oversprinckled  with  water.  It  floureth 
most  commonly  in  August."  The  common  name  for  Orpyne-plants  was  that  of 
Midsummer  Men, 

In  one  of  those  useful  little  Tracts  printed  about  1 800  at  the  Cheap  Reposi- 
tory, was  one  intitled,  "  Tawney  Rachel,  or  the  Fortune-Teller, "  said  to  have 
been  written  by  Miss  Hannah  More.  Among  many  other  superstitious  prac- 
tices of  poor  Sally  Evans,  one  of  the  heroines  of  the  piece,  we  learn  that  "she 
would  never  go  to  bed  on  Midsummer  Eve,  without  sticking  up  in  her  room  the 
well-known  plant  called  Midsummer  Men,  as  the  bending  of  the  leaves  to  the 
right,  or  to  the  left,  would  never  fail  to  tell  her  whether  her  lover  was  true  or 
false." 

Spenser  thus  mentions  Orpine  : 

"Cool  violets,  and  Orpine  growing  still" 

It  is  thus  elegantly  alluded  to  in  "The  Cottage  Girl,"  a  poem  "written  on 
Midsummer  Eve,  1786':" 

"  The  rustic  maid  invokes  her  swain  ; 
And  hails,  to  pensive  damsels  dear, 
This  eve,  though  direst  of  the  year. 
***** 

Oft  on  the  shrub  she  casts  her  eye, 
That  spoke  her  true-love's  secret  sigh  ; 
Or  else,  alas !  too  plainly  told 
Her  true-love's  faithless  heart  was  coldr." 

On  the  22d  of  January,  1801,  a  small  gold  ring,  weighing  eleven  penny- 
weights  seventeen  grains  and  a  half,  was  exhibited  to  the  Society  of  Antiquaries 
by  John  T-opham,  esq.  It  had  been  found  by  the  Rev.  Dr.  Bacon,  of  Wake- 
field,  in  a  ploughed  field  near  Cawood,  in  Yorkshire,  and  had  for  a  device  two 

•    i  —  ~— vrti 

c  In  the  second  volume  of  "Poems,  chiefly  by  Gentlemen  of  Devonshire  and  Cornwall,"  8vo. 
Bath,  1792,  p.  107. 

'  Gerarde  says  of  Orpyne  :  "This  plant  is  very  full  of  life.  The  stalks  set  only  in  clay,  conti- 
nue greene  a  long  time,  and,  if  they  be  now  and  then  watered,  they  also  grow."  p.  519,  edit.  fol. 
Load.  1633,  by  Johnson. 


264  SUMMER   SOLSTICE. 

Orpine  plants  joined  by  a  true-love  knot,  with  this  motto  above :  ct  Ma  fiance 
velt ;"  i.  e.  My  sweetheart  wills,  or  is  desirous.  The  stalks  of  the  plants  were 
bent  to  each  other,  in  token  that  the  parties  represented  by  them  were  to  come 
together  in  marriage.  The  motto  under  the  ring  was,  "Joye  1'amour  feu." 
From  the  form  of  the  letters  it  appeared  to  have  been  a  ring  of  the  fifteenth 
century. 

The  Orpine  plant  also  occurs  among  the  following  Love  Divinations  on  Mid- 
summer Eve,  preserved  in  the  Connoisseur,  No.  56  : 

"  I  and  my  two  sisters  tried  the  dumb-cake  together :  you  must  know,  two 
must  make  it,  two  bake  it,  two  break  it,  and  the  third  put  it  under  each  of 
their  pillows,  (but  you  must  not  speak  a  word  all  the  time,)  and  then  you  will 
dream  of  the  man  you  are  to  have.  This  we  did  :  and  to  be  sure  I  did  nothing 
all  night  but  dream  of  Mr.  Blossom. 

"The  same  night,  exactly  at  twelve  o'clock,  I  sowed  hemp-seed  in  our  back- 
yard, and  said  to  myself,  '  Hemp-seed  I  sow,  Hemp-seed  1  hoe,  and  he  that  is 
my  true-love  come  after  me  and  mow.'  Will  you  believe  me?  I  looked  back, 
and  saw  him  behind  me,  as  plain  as  eyes  could  see  him.  After  that,  I  took  a 
clean  shift  and  wetted  it,  and  turned  it  wrong-side  out,  and  hung  it  to  the  fire 
upon  the  back  of  a  chair ;  and  very  likely  my  sweetheart  would  have  come  and 
turned  it  right  again  (for  I  heard  his  step)  but  I  was  frightened,  and  could  not 
help  speaking,  which  broke  the  charm.  I  likewise  stuck  up  two  Midsummer 
Men,  one  for  myself  and  one  for  him.  Now  if  his  had  died  away,  we  should 
never  have  come  together,  but  I  assure  you  his  blowed  and  turned  to  mine. 
Our  maid  Betty  tells  me,  that  if  I  go  backwards,  without  speaking  a  word,  into 
the  garden  upon  Midsummer  Eve,  and  gather  a  Rose,  and  keep  it  in  a  clean 
sheet  of  paper,  without  looking  at  it  till  Christmas  Day,  it  will  be  as  fresh  as  in 
June;  and  if  I  then  stick  it  in  my  bosom,  he  that  is  to  be  my  husband  will  come 
and  take  it  out." 

The  same  number  of  the  Connoisseur  fixes  the  time  for  watching  in  the  church 
porch  on  Midsummer  Eve:  "I  am  sure  my  own  sister  Hetty,  who  died  just  be- 
fore Christmas,  stood  in  the  church  porch  last  Midsummer  Eve,  to  see  all  that 

were  to  die  that  year  in  our  parish;  and  she  saw  her  own  apparition?." 

•  *  ~. __ ~ — .  — —— — —        , 

?  This  superstition  was  more  generally  practised,  and,  I  believe,  is  still  retained  in  many  parts, 
pn  the  Eve  of  St.  Mark.    See  before,  p.  ICC.    Clelaud,  however,  in  his  "  Institution  of  a  young 


SUMMER   SOLSTICE.  265 

Grose  says :  "  Any  unmarried  woman  fasting  on  Midsummer  Eve,  and  at 
midnight  laying  a  clean  cloth,  with  bread,  cheese,  and  ale,  and  sitting  down  as 


Nobleman,"  has  a  chapter  intitled,  "A  Remedie  against  Love,"  in  which  he  thus  exclaims: 
"  Beware  likewise  of  these  feareful  superstitions,  as  to  watch  upon  ST.  JOHN'S  EVENING,  and  the 
first  Tuesdaye  in  the  month  of  Marche,  to  conjure  the  moon,  to  lie  upon  your  backe  having 
your  eares  stopped  with  laurel-leaves,  and  to  fall  asleepe,  not  thinking  of  God,  and  such  like  fol- 
lies, al  forged  by  the  infernal  Cyclops  and  Plutoe's  servants." 

Grose  tells  us  that  any  person  fasting  on  Midsummer  Eve,  ami  sitting  in  the  church  porch, 
will,  at  midnight,  see  the  spirits  of  the  persons  of  that  parish  who  will  die  that  year,  come  and 
knock  at  the  church  door,  in  the  order  and  succession  in  which  they  will  die.  One  of  these 
watchers,  there  being  several  in  company,  fell  into  a  sound  sleep,  so  that  he  could  not  be  waked. 
Whilst  in  this  state,  his  ghost,  or  spirit,  was  seen  by  the  rest  of  his  companions  knocking  at  the 
church  door.  See  Pandemonium,  by  R.  B. 

[Aubrey,  in  his  "  Remains  of  Gentilisme,"  mentions  this  custome  on  Midsummer  Eve  nearly  in 
the  same  words  with  Grose.] 

It  is  also  noticed  in  the  poem  of  "  The  Cottage  Girl,"  already  quoted : 

"  Now,  to  relieve  her  growing  fear, 

That  feels  the  haunted  moment  near 

When  ghosts  in  chains  the  church-yard  walk, 

She  tries  to  steal  the  time  by  talk. 

But  hark  !  the  church-clock  swings  around, 

With  a  dead  pause,  each  sullen  sound, 

And  tells  the  midnight  hour  is  come, 

That  wraps  the  groves  in  spectred  gloom !" 

On  the  subject  of  gathering  the  Rose  on  Midsummer  Eve,  we  have  also  the  following  lines  • 

"  The  Moss-rose  that,  at  fall  of  dew, 
(Ere  Eve  its  duskier  curtain  drew,) 
Was  freshly  gather'd  from  its  stem, 
She  values  as  the  ruby  gem ; 
And,  guarded  from  the  piercing  air, 
With  all  an  anxious  lover's  care, 
She  bids  it,  for  her  shepherd's  sake, 
Await  the  new-year's  frolic  wake—- 
When, faded,  in  its  alter'd  hue 
She  reads — the  rustic  is  untrue ! 
But,  if  it  leaves  the  crimson  paint, 
Her  sick'ning  hopes  no  longer  faint. 
The  Rose  upon  her  bosom  worn. 
She  meets  him  at  the  peep  of  morn ; 
VOL.   I.  M  M 


26'6  SUMMER   SOLSTICE. 

if  going  to  eat,  the  street-door  being  left  open,  the  person  whom  she  is  after- 
wards to  marry  will  come  into  the  room  and  drink  to  her  by  bowing;  and  after 
filling  the  glass  will  leave  it  on  the  table,  and,  making  another  bow,  retire1'." 
Lupton,  in  his  "Notable  Things,"  B.  i..59-  tells  us:  "It  is  certainly  and 

And,  lo  !  her  lips  with  kisses  prest, 
He  plucks  it  from  her  panting  breast." 

With  these,  on  the  sowing  of  hemp : 

"  To  issue  from  beneath  the  thatch. 
With  trembling  hand  she  lifts  the  latch, 
And  steps,  as  creaks  the  feeble  door, 
With  cautious  feet,  the  threshold  o'er  j 
Lest,  stumbling  on  the  horse-shoe  dim, 
Dire  spells  unsinew  ev'ry  limb. 

"  Lo  !  shuddering  at  the  solemn  deed, 
She  scatters  round  the  magic  seed, 
And  thrice  repeats,  '  The  seed  I  sow, 
My  true-love's  scythe  the  crop  shall  mow." 
Strait,  as  her  frame  fresh  horrors  freeze, 
Her  true-love  with  his  scythe  she  sees. 

"  And  next,  she  seeks  the  yew-tree  shade, 
Where  he  who  died  for  love  is  laid ; 
There  binds,  upon  the  verdant  sod 
By  many  a  moon-light  fairy  trod, 
The  cow-slip  and  the  lily-wreath 
She  wove,  her  hawthorn  hedge  beneath  : 
And  whispering,  '  Ah  !  may  Colin  prove 
As  constant  as  thou  wast  to  love !' 
Kisses,  with  pale  lip,  full  of  dread, 
The  turf  that  hides  his  clay-cold  head ! 
***** 

At  length,  her  love-sick  projects  tried, 
She  gains  her  cot  the  lea  beside ; 
And,  on  her  pillow,  sinks  to  rest, 
With  dreams  of  constant  Colin  blest." 
The  sowing  of  Hemp-seed,  as  will  hereafter  be  shewn,  was  also  used  on  ALLHALLOW-EVBN. 

k  See  Pandemonium.  In  Torreblanca's  Dsemonologia,  p.  ISO,  I  find  the  following  supersti- 
tion mentioned  on  the  night  of  ST.  JOHN,  or  of  St.  Paul :  "  Nostri  sseculi  puellae  in  nocte  S.  Joan- 
nis  vel  S.  Pauli  ad  fenestras  specttmtes,  primus  praetereuntium  voces  captant,  ut  cui  nubant  con- 
jectant."  Our  author  is  a  Spaniard. 


SUMMER   SOLSTICE.  2ff7 

constantly  affirmed  that  on  Midsummer  Eve  there  is  found,  under  the  root  of 
Mu<r«ort,  a  coal  which  saves  or  keeps  them  safe  from  the  plague,  carbuncle, 
lightning,  the  quartan  ague,  and  from  burning,  that  bear  the  same  about  them : 
and  Mizaldus,  the  writer  hereof,  saith,  that  he  doth  hear  that  it  is  to  be  found 
the  same  day  under  the  root  of  plantane,  which  I  know  to  bj  of  truth,  for  / 
have  found  them  the  same  day  under  the  root  of  planta'ne,  which  is  especially 
and  chiefly  to  be  found  at  noon." 

In  "  Natural  and  Artificial  Conclusions,"  by  Thomas  Hill,  I2mo.  Lond.  1650, 
we  have :  "  The  vertue  of  a  rare  cole,  that  is  to  be  found  but  one  houre  in  the 
day,  and  one  day  in  the  yeare."  "Divers  authors,"  he  adds,  "  affirm  concern- 
ing the  verity  and  vertue  of  this  cole;  viz.  that  it  is  onely  to  be  found  upon  Mid- 
summer Eve,  just  at  noon,  under  every  root  of  plantine  and  of  mugwort;  the 
effects  whereof  are  wonderful :  for  whosoever  weareth  or  beareth  the  same  about 
with  them,  shall  be  freed  from  the  plague,  fever,  ague,  and  sundry  other  dis- 
eases. And  one  author  especially  writeth,  and  constantly  averreth,  that  he  never 
knew  any  that  used  to  carry  of  this  marvellous  cole  about  them,  who  ever  were, 
to  his  knowledge,  sick  of  the  plague,  or  (indeed)  complained  of  any  other 
maladie." 

"The  last  summer,"  says  Aubrey,  in  his  Miscellanies,  8vo.  Lond.  1696,  p.  103, 
"on  the  day  of  St.  John  Baptist,  [l6"94,]  I  accidentally  was  walking  in  the 
pasture  behind  Montague  House,  it  was  twelve  o'clock,  I  saw  there  about  two 
or  three  and  twenty  young  women,  most  of  them  well  habited,  on  their  knees, 
very  busie,  as  if  they  had  been  weeding.  A  young  man  told  me  that  they  were 
looking  for  a  coal  under  the  root  of  a  plantain,  to  put  under  their  heads  that 
night,  and  they  should  dream  who  would  be  their  husbands.  It  was  to  be 
that  day  and  hour." 

The  following,  however,  in  part  an  explanation  of  this  singular  search,  occurs 
in  "The  Practice  of  Paul  Barbette,"  8vo.  Lond.  16?5,  p.  7:  "For  the  falling 
sickness  some  ascribe  much  to  coals  pulled  out  (on  St.  John  Baptist's  Eve)  from 
under  the  roots  of  mugwort :  but  those  authors  are  deceived,  for  they  are  not 
coals,  but  old  acid  roots,  consisting  of  much  volatile  salt,  and  are  almost  always 
to  be  found  under  mugwort:  so  that  it  is  only  a  certain  superstition  that  those 
old  dead  roots  ought  to  be  pulled  up  on  the  Eve  of  St.  John  Baptist,  about 
twelve  at  night." 


SUMMER   SOLSTICE. 


Scott,  in  his  Discovery  of  Witchcraft,  p.  144,  tells  us:  Against  witches' 
"  hang  boughs  (hallowed  on  Midsummer  Day)  at  the  stall  door  where  the  cattle 
stand." 

Bishop  Hall,  in  his  Triumph  of  Rome,  p.  58,  says,  that  "St.  John  is  im- 
plored for  a  benediction  on  wine  upon  his  day." 


[A  singular  custom  at  Oxford,  on  the  Day  of  St.  John  Baptist,  still  remains 
to  be  mentioned.  The  notice  of  it,  here  copied,  is  from  the  Life  of  Bishop 
Home,  by  the  Rev.  William  Jones.  (Works,  vol.  xii.  p.  131.) 

"A  Letter  of  July  the  25th,  1755,  informed  me  that  Mr.  Home,  according 
to  an  established  custom  at  Magdalen  College  in  Oxford,  had  begun  to  preach 
before  the  University  on  the  Day  of  Saint  John  the  Baptist.  For  the  preaching  of 
this  annual  sermon  a  permanent  pulpit  of  stone  is  inserted  into  a  corner  of  the  first 
quadrangle  ;  and,  so  long  as  the  stone  pulpit  was  in  use,  (of  which  I  have  been 
a  witness.)  the  quadrangle  was  furnished  round  the  sides  with  a  large  fence  of 
green  boughs,  that  the  preaching  might  more  nearly  resemble  that  of  John  the 
Baptist  in  the  wilderness  ;  and  a  pleasant  sight  it  was  :  but  for  many  years  the 
custom  has  been  discontinued,  and  the  assembly  have  thought  it  safer  to  take 
shelter  under  the  roof  of  the  chapel."] 


Collinson,  in  his  Somersetshire,  vol.  iii.  p.  586,  says :  "  In  the  parishes  of  Congreshury  and 
Puxton,  are  two  large  pieces  of  common  land,  called  East  and  West  Dolemoors,  (from  the  Saxon 
dal,  which  signifies  a  share  or  portion,)  which  are  divided  into  single  acres,  each  bearing  a  pecu- 
liar and  different  mark  cut  in  the  turf,  such  as  a  horn,  four  oxen  and  a  mare,  two  oxen  and  a 
mare,  a  pole-axe,  cross,  dung-fork,  oven,  duck's-nest,  hand-reel,  and  hare's-tail.  On  the  Satur- 
day before  Old-Midsummer,  several  proprietors  of  estates  in  the  parishes  of  Congresbury,  Puxton, 
and  Week  St.  Lawrence,  or  their  tenants,  assemble  on  the  commons.  A  number  of  apples  are 
previously  prepared,  marked  in  the  same  manner  with  the  beforementioned  acres,  which  are  'dis- 
tributed by  a  young  lad  to  each  of  the  commoners  from  a  bag  or  hat.  At  the  close  of  the  distri- 
bution each  person  repairs  to  his  allotment,  as  his  apple  directs  him,  and  takes  possession  for  the 
ensuing  year.  An  adjournment  then  takes  place  to  the  house  of.  the  overseer  of  Dolemoors,  (an 
officer  annually  elected  from. the  tenants,)  where  four  acres,  reserved  for  the  purpose  of  paying 
expences,  are  let  by  inch  of  candle,  and  the  remainder  of  the  day  is  spent  in  that  sociability  and 
hearty  mirth  so  congenial  to  the  soul  of  a  Somersetshire  yeoman." 


269 


ST.  PETER'S  DAY. 
(Twenty-ninth  of  June.) 

:      •       \        ,...^    Ml-'       iMJli     '' 

STOW  tells  us  that  the  rites  of  St.  John  Baptist's  Eve  were  also  used  on  the 
Eve  of  St.  Peter  and  St.  Paul :  and  Dr.  Moresin  informs  us  that  in  Scotland  the 
people  used,  on  this  latter  night,  to  run  about  on  the  mountains  and  higher 
grounds  with  lighted  torches,  like  the  Sicilian  women  of  old  in  search  of  Proser- 
pine*. 

I  have  been  informed  that  something  similar  to  this  was  practised  about  half 
a  century  ago  in  Northumberland  on  this  night;  the  inhabitants  carried  some 
kind  of  firebrands  about  the  fields  of  their  respective  villages.  They  made  en- 
croachments, on  these  occasions,  upon  the  Bonefires  of  the  neighbouring  towns, 
of  which  they  took  away  some  of  the  ashes  by  force:  this  they  called  "carrying 
off  the  flower  (probably  the  flour)  of  the  wake." 

Moresin  thinks  this  a  vestige  of  the  ancient  Cerealia. 

It  appears  from  the  sermon  preached  at  Blandford  Forum,  in  Dorsetshire, 
January  17th,  1.570,  by  William  Kethe,  that,  in  the  papal  times  in  this  country, 
Fires  were  customary,  not  only  on  the  Eves  of  St.  John  the  Baptist  at  Midsum- 
mer, and  of  St.  Peter  and  St.  Paul  the  Apostles,  but  also  on  that  of  St.  Tho- 
mas a  Becket,  or,  as  he  is  there  styled,  "Thomas  Becket  the  Traytor." 

The  London  Watch  on  this  evening,  put  down  in  the  time  of  Henry  the 
Eighth,  and  renewed  for  one  year  only  in  that  of  his  successor,  has  been  already 
noticed  under  Midsummer  Eveb. 

a  "  Faces  ad  Festum  divi  Petri  noctu  Scoti  in  montibus  et  altioribus  locis  discurrentes  accendere 
soliti  sunt,  ut  cum  Ceres  Proserpinam  quaerens  universum  Terrarum  orbem  perlustrasset."  Pa- 
patus,  p.  56. 

In  Sir  John  Sinclair's  Statistical  Account  of  Scotland,  8vo.  Edinb;  1792,  vol.  iii.  p.  105,  the 
Minister  of  Loudoun  in  Ayrshire,  under  the  head  of  Antiquities,  tells  us:  "The  custom  still  re- 
mains amongst  the  herds  and  young  people  to  kindle  fires  in  the  high  grounds,  in  honour  of  Bel- 
tan.  IMiaii,  which  in  Gaelic,  signifies  Baal,  or  Bels  Fire,  was  antiently  the  time  of  this  solem- 
nity. It  is  now  kept  on  St.  Peter's  Day. 

b  See  also  the  extract  in  p.  254,  from  the  Ordinary  of  the  Company  of  Cooks  in  Newcastle-upou- 


270  ST.  PETER'S  DAT. 

It  appears  also  from  the  "Status  Scholae  Etonensis,"  A.  D.  1560,  that  the 
Eton  boys  had  a  great  Bonfire  annually  on  the  East  side  of  the  church  on  St. 
Peter's  Day,  as  well  as  on  that  of  St.  John  Baptist. 

In  an  old  Account  of  the  Lordship  of  Gisborough  in  Cleveland,  Yorkshire, 
and  the  adjoining  coast,  printed  in  the  Antiquarian  Repertory  from  an  ancient 
Manuscript  in  the  Cotton  Library,  speaking  of  the  fishermen,  it  is  stated,  that 
"  upon  St.  Peter's  Daye  they  invite  their  friends  and  kinsfolk  to  a  festyvall  kept 
after  their  fashion  with  a  free  hearte,  and  noe  shew  of  niggardnesse :  that  daye 
their  boates  are  dressed  curiously  for  the  shewe,  their  inastes  are  painted, 
and  certain  rytes  observed  amongst  them,  with  sprinkling  their  prowes 
with  good  liquor,  sold  with  them  at  a  groate  the  quarte,  which  custome  or 
superstition  suckt  from  their  auncesters,  even  contynueth  down  unto  this  present 
tyme." 


ST.  ULRIC. 

(Fourth  of  July.) 

THE  following  are  the  Ceremonies  of  this  Day  preserved  in  Barnabe  Googe's 
Translation  of  Naogeorgus : 

"  ST.   HULDRYCHE. 

"  Whcresoeuer  Huldryche  hath  his  place,  the  people  there  brings  in 

Both  carpes  and  pykes,   and  mullets  fat,  his  fauour  here  to  win. 

Amid  the  church  there  sitteth  one,  and  to  the  aultar  nie, 

That  selleth  fish,  and  so  good  cheep,   that  euery  man  may  buie: 

Nor  any  thing  he  loseth  here,  bestowing  thus  his  paine, 

For  when  it  hath  beene  offred  once,  'tis  brought  him  all  againe, 

That  twise  or  thrise  he  selles  the  same,  vngodlinesse  such  gaine 

Doth  still  bring  in,  and  plentiously  the  kitchin  doth  maintaine. 

Tyne,  dated  1575.  Sir  Henry  Piers'  Description  of  Westmeath,  already  quoted  from  Vallancey's 
Collectanea  de  Rebus  Hibernicis,  makes  the  ceremonies  used  by  the  Irish  on  St.  John  Baptist's 
Eve  common  to  that  of  St.  Peter  and  St.  Paul. 


ST.    ULRIC.  271 

Whence  comes  this  same  religion  newe  ?  what  kind  of  God  is  this 
Same  Huldryche  here,  that  so  desires  and  so  delightes  in  fishe  ?" 

The  Popish  Kingdome,  fol.  55. 


ST.  SWITHIN'S  DAY. 
(Fifteenth  of  July.) 

Blount  tells  us  that  St.  Swithin,  a  holy  Bishop  of  Winchester  about  the  year 
860,  was  called  the  weeping  St.  Swithin,  for  that,  about  his  Feast,  Presepe  and 
Aselli,  rainy  constellations,  arise  cosmically  and  commonly  cause  rain. 
Gay,  in  his  Trivia,  mentions  : 

"How  if,  on  Swithin' s  Feast  the  welkin  lours, 
And  ev'ry  pent-house  streams  with  hasty  show'rs, 
Twice  twenty  days  shall  clouds  their  fleeces  drain, 
And  wasli  the  pavements  with  incessant  rain." 

The  following  is  said  to  be  the  origin  of  the  old  adage:  "If  it  rain  on  St. 
Swithin's  Day,  there  will  be  rain  more  or  less  for  forty-five  succeeding  days." 
In  the  year  865,  St.  Swithin,  Bishop  of  Winchester,  to  which  rank  lie  was  raised 
by  King  Ethelwolfe,  the  Dane,  dying,  was  canonized  by  the  then  Pope.     He 
was  singular  for  his  desire  to  be  buried  in  the  open  church-yard,  and  not  in  the 
chancel  of  the  minster,  as  was  usual  with  other  bishops,  which  request  was 
complied  with ;  but  the  monks,  en  his  being  canonized,  taking  it  into  their 
heads  that  it  was  disgraceful  for  the  Saiut  to  lie  in  the  open  churchyard,  re- 
solved to  remove  his  body  into  the  choir,  which  was  to  have  been  done  with 
solemn  procession  on  the   15th  of  July.     It  rained,  however,  so  violently  on 
that  day,  and  for  forty  days  succeeding,  as  had  hardly  ever  been  known,  which 
made  them  set  aside  their  design  as  heretical  and  blasphemous:  and,  instead, 
they  erected  a  chapel  over  his  grave,  at  which  many  miracles  are  said  to  have 
been  wrought0. 

'  Printed,  and  seemingly  cut  out  of  a  newspaper,  in  Mr.  Douce's  interleaved  copy  of  the  Popu- 
lar Antiquities. 


$72  ST.  SWITHIN'S  DAY. 

Nothing  occurs  in  the  legendary  accounts  of  this  Saint  which  throws  any  light 
upon  the  subject:  the  following  lines,  from  Poor  Robin's  Almanack  for  lb'97, 
are  perhaps  worth  transcribing : 

"  In  this  month  is  St.  Swithin's  Day  ; 

On  which,  if  that  it  rain,  they  say 

Full  forty  days  after  it  will, 

Or  more  or  less,  some  rain  distill. 

This  Swithin  was  a  Saint,   I  trow, 

And  Winchester's  Bishop  also. 

Who  in  his  time  did  many  a  feat, 

As  Popish  legends  do  repeat : 

A  woman  having  broke  her  eggs 

By  stumbling  at  another's  legs, 

For  which  she  made  a  woful  cry, 

St.  Swithin  chanc'd  for  to  come  by, 

Who  made  them  all  as  sound,  or  more 

Than  ever  that  they  were  before. 

But  whether  this  were  so  or  no 

'Tis  more  than  you  or  I  do  know : 

Better  it  is  to  rise  betime, 

And  to  make  hay  while  sun  doth  shine, 

Than  to  believe  in  tales  and  lies 

Which  idle  monks  and  friars  devise." 

Churchill  thus  glances  at  the  superstitious  notions  about  rain  on  St.  Swithin's 
Day. 

"  July,  to  whom,  the  Dog-star  in  her  train, 
St.  James  gives  oisters,  and  St.  Swithin  rain'." 


A  pleasant  Writer  in  the  World,  No.  10,  (the  late  Lord  Orford,)  speaking  on  the  alteration  of 
the  stile,  says  :  "  Were  our  Astronomers  so  ignorant  as  to  think  that  the  old  Proverbs  would  serve 
for  their  new-fangled  Calendar  ?  Could  they  imagine  that  St.  Swithin  would  accommodate  her 
rainy  planet  to  the  convenience  of  their  calculations  ?" 

*  In  Mr.  Douce's  interleaved  copy  of  the  Popular  Antiquities  is  the  following  note : 
"  I  have  heard  these  lines  upon  St.  Swithin's  Day  : 

'  St.  Swithin's  Day  if  thou  dost  rain, 
For  forty  days  it  will  remain  : 


273 


ST.  MARGARETS  DAY. 
(Twentieth  of  July,) 

GRANGER,  in  the  Biographical  History  of  England,  vol.  iii.  p.  54,  quotes 
the  following  passage  from  Sir  John  Birkenhead's  Assembly  Man : 

"  As  many  Sisters  flock  to  him  as  at  Paris  on  St.  Margaret's  Day,  when  all 
come  to  church  that  are  or  hope  to  be  with  child  that  year." 

["  From  the  East,"  says  Mr.  Butler,  "  the  veneration  of  this  Saint  was  exceed- 
ingly propagated  in  England,  France,  and  Germany,  in  the  eleventh  century, 
during  the  holy  wars."] 


ST.  BRIDGET. 
(Twenty-third  of  July). 

"JULY  23.     The  departure  out  of  this  life  of  St.  Bridget  widdow,  who, 
after  many  peregrinations  made  to  holy  places,  full  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  finally 


St.  Swithin's  Day  if  thou  be  fair, 
For  forty  days  'twill  rain  na  mair.' 

There  is  an  old  saying,  that  when  it  rains  on  St.  Swithin's  Day,  it  is  the  Saint  christening  the 
Apples. 

In  the  Churchwarden's  Accounts  of  the  parish  of  Horley,  in  the  county  of  Surrey,  under  the 
years  1505  and  6,  is  the  following  entry,  which  implies  a  gathering  on  this  Saint's  Day  or  Account : 
"  Itm.  Saintt  Swithine  farthyngs  the  said  2'  zeres,  3s.  8d." 

In  Lysons's  Environs  of  London,  vol.  i.  p.  230,  is  a  list  of  church-duties  and  payments  relating 
to  the  church  of  Kingston  upon  Thames,  in  which  the  following  items  appear : 

"23  Hen.  VII.  Imprimis,  at  Ester  for  any  howseholder  kepying  a  brode  gate,  shall  pay  to  the 
paroche  prests  wages,  3rf.  Item,  to  the  paschall  -id.  To  St.  Sicithin  }d. 

"  Also  any  howse-holder  kepyng  one  tenement  shall  pay  to  the  paroche  prests  wages  2d.  Item, 
to  the  Paschall  ^d.  And  to  St  Swithin  \d" 

VOL.  I.  X  N 


274  «T.    BRIDGET. 

reposed  at  Rome :  whose  body  was  after  translated  into  Suevia.  Her  principal 
Festivity  is  celebrated  upon  the  seaventh  of  October."  See  the  Roman  Marty- 
rologe  according  to  the  Reformed  Calendar  translated  into  English  by  G.  K. 
of  the  Society  of  Jesus,  1 627. 

In  the  Diarium  Historicum,  4to.  Francof.  1590,  p.  Ill,  we  read,  under  23° 
Julii,  "Emortualis  Dies  S.  Brigittse  Reg.  Suecias,  J372." 

Col.  Vallancey,  in  his  Essay  on  the  Antiquity  of  the  Irish  Language,  8vo. 
Dubl.  1772,  p.  21,  speaking  of  Ceres,  tells  us:  "  Mr.  Rollin  thinks  this  Deity 
was  the  same  Queen  of  Heaven  to  whom  the  Jewish  women  burnt  incense, 
poured  out  drink  offerings,  and  made  cakes  for  her  with  their  own  hands." 
Jerem.  ch.  xvii.  v.  18,  and  adds  :  "This  pagan  custom  is  still  preserved  in  Ire- 
land on  the  Eve  of  St.  Bridget ;  and  which  was  probably  transposed  to  St. 
Bridget's  Eve  from  the  Festival  of  a  famed  Poetess  of  the  same  name  in  the 
time  of  Paganism.  In  an  ancient  Glossary  now  before  me,  she  is  described  : 
'Brigit,  a  poetess,  the  daughter  of  Dagha;  a  Goddess  of  Ireland.'  On  St. 
Bridget's  Eve  every  farmer's  wife  in  Ireland  makes  a  cake,  called  Bairin-breac, 
the  neighbours  are  invited,  the  madder  of  ale  and  the  pipe  go  round,  and  the 
evening  concludes  with  mirth  and  festivity." 

Yet  according  to  the  "  Flowers  of  the  Lives  of  the  most  renowned  Saincts  of 
the  three  Kingdoms,  England,  Scotland,  and  Ireland,  by  Hierome  Porter,  4to, 
Doway,  1632,"  p.  118.  Brigitt's  Day,  (Virgin  of  Kildare,  in  Ireland,)  was 
February  the  first. 


ST.  JAMES'S  DAY. 
(Twenty-fifth  of  July.) 

THE  following  is  the  Blessing  of  new  Apples  upon  this  Day,  preserved  in 
the  "Manuale  ad  Usum  Sarum,"  4to.  Rothom.  1555,  fol.  64.  b.  65. 
"  Benedictio  Pomomm  in  Die  Sancti  Jacobi. 

"Te  deprecamur  ouuiipotens  Deus  ut  benedicas  hunc  fructum  novorum  po- 
morum :  ut  qui  esu  arboris  letalis  et  porno  in  primo  parente  justa  funeris  senten- 


ST.  JAMES'S  DAT.  275 

tia  mulctati  sumus  ;  per  illustrationem  unici  filii  tui  Redemptoris  Dei  ac  Domini 
nostri  Jesu  Christi  &  Spiritus  Sancti  benedictionem  sanctificata  sint  omnia  atque 
benedicta :  depulsisque  primi  facinoris  intentatoris  insidiis,  salubriter  ex  hujus 
diei  aniiiversaria  solennitate  diversis  terris  edenda  germina  sumamus  per  eun- 
dem  Dominum  in  unitate  ejusdem."  "  Delude  sacerdos  aspergat  ea  aqua  be- 
nedicta." 

Hasted  in  his  History  of  Kent,  vol.  I.  p.  537-  parish  of  Cliff  in  Shamel  hun- 
dred, tells  us  that  "  the  rector,  by  old  custom,  distributes  at  his  parsonage 
house  on  St.  James's  Day,  annually,  a  mutton  pye  and  a  loaf,  to  as  many  per- 
sons as  chuse  to  demand  it,  the  expence  of  which  amounts  to  about  i.5/.  per 
annum." 

On  St.  James's  Day,  old  stile,  Oisters  come  in,  in  London :  and  there  is  a  po- 
pular superstition  still  in  force,  like  that  relating  to  goose  on  Michaelmas  day, 
that  whoever  eats  oisters  on  that  day  will  never  want  money  for  the  rest  of  the 
year. 


GULE  OF  AUGUST, 
commonly  called 
LAMMASS  DAT. 

DR.  Pettingal,  in  the  second  volume  of  the  Archasologia,  p.  67-  derives 
"  Gule"  from  the  Celtic  or  British  "  Wyl,"  or  "  Gwyl,"  signifying  a  festival  or 
holyday,  and  explains  "  Gule  of  August"  to  mean  no  more  than  the  holyday  of 
St.  Peter  ad  Vincula  in  August,  when  the  people  of  England  under  popery  paid 
their  Peter  pence. 

This  is  confirmed  by  Blount,  who  tells  us  that  Lammass  Day,  the  first  of  Au- 
gust, otherwise  called  the  Gule,  or  Yule  of  August,  may  be  a  corruption  of  the 
British  word  "  Gwyl  Awst,"  signifying  the  Feast  of  August.  He  adds,  indeed, 
"  or  it  may  come  from  Vinc«/a  (chains),  that  day  being  called  in  Latin  Festum 
Sancti  Petri  ad  Pincula." 


GULE    OF   AUGUST. 

Gebelin  in  his  Allegories  Orientales  tells  us  that  as  the  month  of  August  was 
the  first  in  the  Egyptian  year,  the  first  day  of  it  was  called  Gule,  which  being  La- 
tinized makes  Gula.  Our  legendaries,  surprized  at  seeing  this  word  at  the  head 
of  the  month  of  August,  did  not  overlook,  but  converted  it  to  their  own  purpose. 
They  made  out  of  it  the  Feast  of  the  daughter  of  the  Tribune  Quirinus,  cured 
of  some  disorder  in  the  throat  (Gula  is  Latin  for  throat)  by  kissing  the  chains  of 
St.  Peter,  whose  feast  is  solemnized  on  this  day  a. 

Gebelin's  etymon  of  the  word  will  hereafter  be  considered  under  YULE  as 
formerly  used  to  signify  Christmass. 

Antiquaries  are  divided  also  in  their  opinions  concerning  the  origin  of  the 
word  Lam,  or  Lamb-mass.  . 

Some  suppose  it  is  called  Lammass  b  Day,  quasi  Lamb-masse,  because,  on 
that  day,  the  tenants  who  held  lands  of  the  Cathedral  Church  in  York,  which  is 
dedicated  to  St.  Peter  ad  Vincula,  were  bound  by  their  tenure  to  bring  a  live 
lamb  into  the  Church  at  high  mass. 


a  "  Comme  le  mois  d'Aout  etoit  le  premier  mois  de  1'ann^e  Egyptienne,  on  en  appella  le  pre- 
mier jour  Gule  :  ce  mot  Latinisfe,  fit  Gula.  Nos  legendaires  surpris  de  voir  ce  nom  a  la  tete  du 
mois  d'Aout,  ne  s'oublierent  pas  :  ils  en  firent  la  Fete  de  la  Fillc  du  Tribun  Quirinus,  gue'rie  d'un 
mal  de  Gorge  en  baisant  les  Liens  de  Saint  Pierre  dont  on  ce'le'bre  la  Fete  ce  jour-la." 

So  also  Sir  Henry  Spelman.  "  Gula  Augusti]  Saepe  obvenit  in  membranis  antiquis  (praesertim 
forensibus)  pro  festo  S.  Petri  ad  Vincula :  quod  in  ipsis  calendis  Augusti  celebratur.  Occasionem 
(inter  alias)  Durandus  suggerit  lib.  vii.  cap.  19.  Quirinum  Tribunum  filiam  habuisse  gutturosam: 
qua;  osculata,  iussu  Alexandri  Pap»  (a  B.  Petro  sexti)  vincula  quibus  Petrus  sub  Nerone  coercitus 
fuerat,  a  morbo  liberatur :  Alexandrum  (in  miraculi  reverentiam)  et  festuin  istud,  &  Ecclesiam 
instituisse." 

In  the  antient  Calendar  of  the  Romish  Church  which  I  have  had  occasion  so  frequently  to  cite,  I 
find  the  subsequent  remark  on  the  first  of  August : 
"  Chains  are  worshipped,  &c. 
'•  Catenae  coluntur  ad  Aram  in  Exquiliis 
Ad  Vicum  Cyprium  juxta  Titi  thermas." 

k  We  have  an  old  proverb,  "  At  latter  Lammass,"  which  is  synonymous  with  the  "  ad  Graecas 
Calendas"  of  the  Latins,  and  the  vulgar  saying,  "  When  two  Sundays  come,  together  :"  i.  e.  never. 
It  was  in  this  phrase  that  queen  Elizabeth  exerted  her  genius  in  an  extempore  reply  to  the  am- 
bassador of  Philip  II.  : 

"  Ad  Grsecas,  bone  Rex,  fient  mandata  Kalendas." 

See  Lord  Orford's  Works,  4to.  1799,  vol.  r.p.  871. 


OULE   OP    AUGUST.  877 

Others,  according  to  Blount,  suppose  it  to  have  been  derived  from  the  Saxon 
Hlajr  Maejf  e,  i.  e.  loaf  masse,  or  bread  masse,  so  named  as  a  feast  of  thanksgiving 
to  God  for  the  first-fruits  of  the  corn.  It  seems  to  have  been  observed  with  bread  of 
new  wheat :  and  accordingly  it  is  a  usage  in  some  places  for  tenants  to  be  bound 
to  bring  in  wheat  of  that  year  to  their  lord,  on  or  before  the  first  of  August c. 

Vallancey  in  his  "Collectanea  de  rebus  Hibernicis,"  No.  x.  p.  464,  cites 
Cormac,  archbishop  of  Cashel  in  the  tenth  century,  in  his  Irish  Glossary,  as 
telling  us  that,  "  in  his  time,  four  great  fires  were  lighted  up  on  the  four  great 
festivals  of  the  Druids ;  viz.  in  February,  May,  August,  and  November." 
Vallancey  also  tells  us,  (Ibid.  p.  472.)  that  this  day,  (the  Gule  of  August)  was 
dedicated  to  the  sacrifice  of  the  fruits  of  the  soil.  La-ith-mas  was  the  day  of 
the  oblation  of  grain.  It  is  pronounced  La-ee-mas,  a  word  readily  corrupted  to 
Lammass.  1th  is  all  kinds  of  grain,  particularly  wheat :  and  mas,  fruit  of  all 
kinds,  especially  the  acorn,  whence  mast."  "  Cut  and  Gul'm  the  Irish  implies  a 
complete  circle,  a  belt,  a  wheel,  an  anniversary." 


ASSUMPTION  OF  THE  VIRGIN  MARY, 
( Fifteenth  of  August.) 

Barnabe  Googe  has  the  following  lines  upon  this  day  in  the  English  Version 
of  Naogeorgus  : 

"  The  blessed  Virgin  Maries  feast,  hath  here  his  place  and  time, 
Wherein,  departing  from  the  earth,  she  did  the  heavens  clime ; 
Great  bundels  then  of  hearbes  to  church,  the  people  fast  doe  beare, 
The  which  against  all  hurtfull  things  the  priest  doth  hallow  theare. 
Thus  kindle  they  and  nourish  still  the  peoples  wickednesse, 
And  vainly  make  them  to  believe,  whatsoever  they  expresse : 

c  "  Lammass  Day,  in  the  Salisbury  Manuals,  is  called  "  Benedictio  novorum  fructuum ;"  in  the 
Red  Book  of  Derby,  hkp  maerje  bsej  ;  see  also  Oros.  Interp.  1.  6.  c.  19.  But  in  the  Sax.  Chron.  p. 
138.  A.  D.  10O9.  it  is  hlam-mserre.  Mass  was  a  word  for  festival :  hence  our  way  of  naming  the 
festivals  of  Christmass,  Candlemass,  Martinmass,  &c.  Instead  therefore  of  Lammass  quasi  Lamb- 
massc,  from  the  offering  of  the  tenants  at  York,  may  we  not  rather  suppose  the  p  .to  have  been  left 
out  in  course  of  time  from  general  use,  and  La-mass  or  hla-m«rre  will  appear."  Gent.  Mag.  Jan. 
1799,  P-  33. 


278  ASSUMPTION   OP  THE   VIRGIN    MARY. 

For  sundrie  witchcrafts  by  these  hearbs  are  wrought,  and  divers  cbarmes, 
And  cast  into  the  fire,  are  thought  to  drive  away  all  harmes, 
And  every  painefull  griefe  from  man,  or  beast,  for  to  expell 
Far  otherwise  than  nature  or  the  worde  of  God  doth  tell." 

Popish  Kingdome,  fol.  55. 

Bishop  Hall  also  tells  us  in  the  "Triumphs  of  Rome,"  p.  58.  "  that  upon  this 
day  it  was  customary  to  implore   Blessings  upon  herbs,  plants,  roots,  and 
fruits* 


ST.  ROCK'S  DAY, 
(Sixteenth  of  August.) 

Among  the  Extracts  from  the  Churchwardens'  Accounts  of  St.  Michael  Spur- 
rier-Gate in  the  city  of  York,  printed  in  Mr.  Nichols's  Illustrations  of  Ancient 
Manners,  I  find, 

"  1518.  Paid  for  writing  of  St.  Royke  Masse  Ol.  0*.9<f."» 
Dr.  Whitaker  thinks  that  St.  Roche  or  Rockes  Day  was  celebrated  as  a  gene- 
ral harvest  homeb. 


m  On  this  passage  Mr.  Sam.  Pegge,  by  whom  the  extracts  were  communicated,  remarks,  "  St. 
Royk,  St  Roche  (Aug.  16.)  Q.  why  commemorated  in  particular  ?  There  is  Roche  Abbey  in  the 
West  Riding  of  the  county  of  York,  which  does  not  take  its  name  from  the  Saint,  but  from  its  si- 
tuation on  a  rock,  and  is  dedicated  to  the  Virgin  Mary.  Tanner.  The  writing  probably  means 
making  a  new  copy  of  the  music  appropriated  to  the  day." 

b  In  Sir  Thomas  Overbury's  "  Characters,"  14th  impression,  12mo.  Lond.  163O,  under  that  of 
the  Franklin,  he  says  :  "  He  allowes  of  honest  pastime,  and  thinkes  not  the  bones  of  the  dead  any 
thing  bruised,  or  the  worse  for  it,  though  the  country  lasses  dance  in  the  church-yard  after  even- 
song. ROCK  MONDAY,  and  the  wake  in  summer,  shrovings,  the  wakefull  ketches  on  Christmas 
eve,  the  hoky,  or  seed  cake,  these  he  yeerely  keepes,  yet  holds  them  no  reliques  of  popery." 

I  have  sometimes  suspected  that  "  Rocke-Monday"  is  a  misprint  for  Hock-Monday ;"  but  there  is 
a  passage  in  Warner's  "  Albions  England,"  editt.  1597  and  1602.  p.  12i.  as  follows : 

"  Rock  and  Plow  Monday  gams  sal  gang  with  saint  feasts  and  kirk  sights :" 
And  again  at  p.  407.  edit.  1602, 

••v'.u'.'  ",\'.<  T"  -Vr"'-"   '    '   ••  ••       :.:.   i  :  '<  !>  '•:.•". 

"  Tie  duly  keepe  for  thy  delight  Rock-Monday,  and  the  wake, 
Have  shrovings,  Christmas  Gambols,  with  the  hokie  and  seed  cake." 


279 

•,      ..i 

ST.  BARTHOLOMEW'S  DAY. 
(Twenty -fourth  of  August.) 

IN  "New  Essayes  and  Characters,"  by  John  Stephens  the  younger,  of  Lin- 
colnes  Line,  Gent.  8vo.  Lond.  1631,  p.  221.  we  read: 

— "  Like  a  bookseller's  shoppe  on  Bartholomew  Day  at  London ;  the  stalls  of 
which  are  so  adorn  d  with  Bibles  and  Prayer-bookes,  that  almost  nothing  is 
left  within,  but  heathen  knowledge  c." 


HOLY-ROOD  DAY. 
(Fourteenth  of  September.) 

THIS  festival,  called  also  Holy  Cross  Day*,  was  instituted  on  account  of  the 
recovery  of  a  large  piece  of  the  Cross,  by  the  emperor  Heraclius,  after  it  had 

«  Mr.  Gough,  in  his  History  of  Croyland  Abbey,  p.  73,  mentions  an  antient  custom  there  of 
giving  little  knives  to  all  comers  on  St.  Bartholomew's  Day.  This  abuse,  he  says,  "was  abolished 
by  Abbot  John  de  Wisbech,  in  the  time  of  Edward  the  Fourth,  exempting  both  the  abbot  and  con- 
vent from  a  great  and  needless  expence.  This  custom  originated  in  allusion  to  the  knife,  where- 
with St.  Bartholomew  was  Head.  Three  of  these  knives  were  quartered  with  three  of  the  whips  so 
much  used  by  St.  Guthlac,  in  one  coat  borne  by  this  house.  Mr.  Hunter  had  great  numbers  of 
them,  of  different  sizes,  found  at  different  times  in  the  ruins  of  the  abbey  and  in  the  river.  We  have 
engraved  three  from  drawings  in  the  Minute  Books  of  the  Spalding  Society,  in  whose  drawers  one 
is  still  preserved.  These  are  adopted  as  the  device  of  a  town-piece,  called  the  Poore's  Halfepeny  of 
Croyland,  1670." 

»  Rood  and  Cross  are  synonymous.    From  the  Anglo  Saxon  nob. 

["  The  Rood,"  as  Fuller  observes,  "  when  perfectly  made,  and  with  all  the  appurtenances 
thereof,  Tiad  not  only  the  image  of  our  Saviour  extended  upon  it,  but  the  figures  of  the  Virgin 
Mary  and  St.  John,  one  on  each  side  :  in  allusion  to  John  xix.  26.  '  Christ  on  the  Cross  saw  hit 
mother  and  thedisciple  whom  he  loved  standing  by.'  "  (See  Fuller's  Hist.  Waltham  Abbey,  pp.  16,  17.) 

Such  was  tha  representation  denominated  the  ROOD,  usually  placed  over  the  screen  which  di- 
vided the  nave  from  the  chancel  of  our  Churches.  To  our  ancestors,  we  are  told,  it  conveyed  a 
full  type  of  the  Christian  Church.  The  nave  representing  the  Church  militant,  and  the  chancel 
the  Church  triumphant,  denoting  that  all  who  would  go  from  the  one  to  the  other,  must  pass  un- 
der the  Rood,  that  is  carry  the  Cross,  and  sufler  affl'ction. 

Churchwardens  accounts,  previous  to  the  Reformation,  are  usually  full  of  entries  relating  to  the 


280  HOLY-ROOD    DAY. 

been  taken  away,  on  the  plundering  of  Jerusalem  by  Cosroes,  king  of  Persia, 
about  the  year  of  Christ  615  b. 

It  appears  to  have  been  the  custom  to  go  a  nutting  upon  this  day,  from  the 
following  passage  in  the  old  play  of  "  Grim  the  Collier  of  Croydon :" 

"  This  day,  they  say,  is  called  Holy-rood  Day, 

And  all  the  youth  are  now  a  nutting  gone c." 

It  appears  from  a  curious  manuscript  which  I  have  had  occasion  several  times 
to  quote  in  the  course  of  this  work,  that  in  the  month  of  September,  "  on  a  cer- 
tain day,"  most  probably  the  fourteenth,  the  boys  of  Eton  school  were  to  have  a 
play-day,  in  order  to  go  out  and  gather  nuts,  with  a  portion  of  which,  when 

Rood-loft. — On  a  detached  scrap  of  paper,  Mr.  Brand  has  preserved  the  following  extracts  be- 
longing to  that  formerly  in  the  Church  of  St.  Mary  at  Hill,  5  Hen.  VI. 

"  Also  for  makynge  of  a  peire  endentors  betwene  William  Serle,  carpenter,  and  us,  for  the  Rode 
lofte  and  the  under  clerks  chambre  *,  ijs.  viijd." 

The  second  leaf,  he  observes,  of  the  Churchwardens'  accounts  contains  the  names  (it  should 
seem)  of  those  who  contributed  to  the  erection  of  the  Rood  loft.  "  Also  ress.  of  serteyn  men  for 
the  Rod  loft ;  fyrst  of  Ric.  Goslyn  10Z. ;  also  of  Thomas  Raynwall  101. ;  also  of  Rook  26s.  7d. ;" 
and  eighteen  others.  Summa  totalis  9ol.  Us.  9d." 

The  carpenters  on  this  occasion  appear  to  have  had  what  in  modern  language  is  called  "their 
Drinks"  allowed  them  over  and  above  their  wages. 

"  Also  the  day  after  Saint  Dunston,  the  19  day  of  May,  two  carpenters  with  her  Nonsiens^-." 

Jn  Howes's  edition  of  Stowe's  Chronicle,  2  Edw.  VI.  1547,  we  read  :  "  The  17  of  Nov.  was  begun 
to  be  pulled  downe  the  Roode  in  Paules  Church,  with  Mary  and  John,  and  all  other  images  in  the 
Church,  and  then  the  like  was  done  in  all  the  Churches  in  London,  and  so  throughout  England, 
and  texts  of  Scripture  were  written  upon  the  walls  of  those  Churches  against  Images,  &c." 

Many  of  our  Rood-lofts,  however,  were  not  taken  down  till  late  in  the  reign  of  Queen  Elizabeth.] 

b  Wheatley  on  the  Common  Prayer,  edit.  8vo.  Lond.  1741,  p.  73. 

•  See  Reed's  Old  Plays,  vol.  II.  p.  239. 

*  Other  entries  respecting  the  Rood-loft  occur,  ibid. 

"  Also  payd  for  a  rolle  and  2  gojons  of  iron  and  a  rope  xiiijrf. 

Also  payd  to  3  carpenters  removing  the  stallis  of  the  quer  xxrf. 

Also  payd  for  6  peny  nail  and  5  peny  nail  xjrf. 

Also  for  crochats,  and  3  iron  pynnes  and  a  staple  xiijrf. 

Also  for  5  yardis  and  a  halfe  of  grene  JSoteram  iij*.  iijd.  oh. 

Also  for  lengthy ng  of  2  cheynes  and  6  zerdes  of  gret  wyer  xiiijrf. 

Also  payd  for  eleven  dozen  pavyng  tyles  iijs.  iiijrf." 

t  "  Nunchion,"  (s.  a  colloquial  word,)  a  piece  of  victuals  eaten  between  meals.  Hudibras.  (Ash's  Dictionary.) 
The  word  occurs  in  Cotjrave's  Dictionary :  "  A  Nuncions  or  Nuncheon,  (or  afternoones  repast),  Gouber,  goustcr, 
rechie,  ressie.  To  take  an  afternoone's  Nuncheon,  rcciner,  ressiner." 


HOLY-ROOD    DAY.  281 

they  returned,  they  were  to  make  presents  to  the  different  masters  of  that  semi- 
nary. It  is  ordered,  however,  that  before  this  leave  be  granted  them,  they 
should  write  verses  on  the  fruitfulness  of  autumn,  the  deadly  colds,  &c.  of  ad~ 
vancing  winter  d, 

—      i  M .  - 

MICHAELMAS. 

(Twenty-ninth  of  September.) 

It  has  long  been  and  still  continues  the  custom  at  this  time  of  the  year,  or 
thereabouts,  to  elect  the  governours  of  to\vnsa  and  cities,  the  civil  guardians  of 


d  "  Status  Scholae  Etonensis,  A.  D.  1  SCO.     (MS.  Donat.  Brit.  Mus.  4843.) 

"  Mcnse  Septembri. 

"  Hoc  mepse  certo  quodam  die,  si  visura  fuerit  preceptor!,  liberrima  ludendi  facultas  pueris  con- 
ceditur  :  et  itur  collectum  avellanas,  quas  domuni  cum  onusti  reportaverint,  veluti  nobilis  alicujuj 
praedee  portionom  praeceptori,  cujus  auspiciis  susceptum  illius  diei  iter  ingressi  sunt,  impartiuntj 
turn  vero  comumnicant  etiam  cum  magistris.  Priusquam  vero  Nuces  legend!  potestas  permittitur, 
carmina  pangunt,  autumni  pomiferi  fertilitatem  et  fructuosam  abundantiaui  pro  virili  describentes, 
quinetiam  adventantis  .Hyemis  durissimi  Anni  temporis  lethalia  frigora,  qua  possunt  lamentabili 
oratione  deflent  &  persequuntur  :  sic  omnium  rerum  vicissitudinem  jam  a  pueris  addiscentes,  turn 
Nuces  (ut  in  proverbio  est)  relinquunt,  id  est,  omissis  studiis  ac  nugis  puerilibus,  ad  graviora  ma- 
gisque  seria  convertuntur." 

a  "  Monday,  October  1st,  1804. 

"  This  day  the  lord  mayor  and  aldermen  proceeded  from  Guildhall,  and  the  two  sheriffs  with 
their  respective  companies  from  Stationers  Hall,  and  having  embarked  on  the  Thames,  his  lordship 
in  the  city  barge,  and  the  sheriffs  in  the  stationers  barge,  went  in  aquatic  state  to  Palace  Yard.  They 
proceeded  to  the  Court  of  Exchequer  :  where,  after  the  usual  salutations  to  the  bench  (the  cursitor 
baron,  Francis  Maseres,  Esq.  presiding)  the  recorder  presented  the  two  sheriffs  ;  the  several  writs 
were  then  read ,  and  the  sheriffs  and  the  senior  undersheriff  took  the  usual  oaths.  [  The  ceremony,  on  this 
occasion,  in  thf  Court  of  Exchequer,  which  vulgar  error  supposed  to  be  an  unmeaning  farce,  is  solemn  and 
impressive ;  nor  have  the  new  sheriffs  the  least  connexion  either  with  chopping  of  sticks,  or  counting  of 
hobnails.  The  tenants  of  a  manor  in  Shropshire  are  directed  to  come  forth  to  do  their  suit  and  service: 
on  which  the  senior  alderman  below  the  chair  steps  forward,  and  chops  a  single  stick,  in  token  of  its 
having  been  customary  for  the  tenants  of  that  manor  to  supply  their  lord  with  fuel.  The  owners  of  a 
forge  in  the  parish  of  St.  Clement  (which formerly  belonged  to  the  city,  and  stood  in  the  high  road  from 
the  Temple  to  Westminster,  but  now  no' longer  exists  J  are  then  called  forth  to  do  their  suit  and  service; 
when  an  officer  of  the  court,  in  the  presence  of  the  senior  alderman,  produces  six  horse  shoes  and  61  hob- 

..•>r;O  '•''     '<         !  'Ti.'tjf'l      .  V7!f» ,»m  (y .    .. 
VOL.  I.  O    O 


282  MICHAELMAS. 

the  peace  of  men,  perhaps,  as  Bourne  supposes,  because  the  feast  of  angels  na- 
turally enough  brings  to  our  minds  the  old  opinion  of  tutelar  spirits,  who  have, 
or  are  thought  to  have  the  particular  charge  of  certain  bodies  of  men,  or  dis- 
tricts of  country,  as  also  that  every  man  has  his  guardian  angel,  who  attends  him 
from  the  cradle  to  the  grave,  from  the  moment  of  his  coming  in,  to  his  going 
out  of  life  b. 


nails,  which  he  counts  over  in  form  before  the  cursitor  baron;  who,  on  this  particular  occasion,  is  the 
immediate  representative  of  the  sovereign.'] 

"  The  whole  of  the  numerous  company  then  again  embarked  in  their  barges,  and  returned  to 
Blackfriars-bridge,  where  the  state  carriages  were  in  waiting.  Thence  they  proceeded  to  Stationers- 
Hall,  where  a  most  elegant  entertainment  was  given  by  Mr.  Sheriff  Domville."  Mr.  Nichols,  in 
Gent.  Mag.  for  October  1804,  vol.  Ixiv.  p.  965. 

For  a  custom  after  the  election  of  a  mayor  at  Abingdon  in  Berkshire,  see  the  Gent.  Mag.  for 
Dec.  17&2,  vol.  Hi.  p.  553. 

"  At  Kidderminster  is  a  singular  custom.  On  the  election  of  a  Bailiff  the  inhabitants  assemble 
in  the  principal  streets  to  throw  cabbage  stalks  at  each  other.  The  town-house  bell  gives  signal 
for  the  affray.  This  is  called  lawless  hour.  This  done,  (for  it  lasts  an  hour),  the  bailiff  elect  and 
corporation,  in  their  robes,  preceded  by  drums  and  fifes,  (for  they  have  no  waits.)  visit  the  old  and 
new  bailiff,  constables,  &c.  &c.  attended  by  the  mob.  In  the  mean  time  the  most  respectable  families 
in  the  neighbourhood  are  invited  to  meet  and  fling  apples  at  them  on  their  entrance.  I  have 
known  forty  pots  of  apples  expended  at  one  house."  Gent.  Mag.  for  1790,  vol.  Ix.  p.  1191. 

b  "  The  Egyptians  believed  that  every  man  had  three  Angels  attending  him :  the  Pythagoreans 
that  every  man  had  two :  the  Romans,  that  there  was  a  good  and  evil  genius.  Hence  it  is  that 
the  Roman  poet  says,  "  Quisque  suos  patitur  manes."  Bourne,  chap.  xxix. 

This  idea  has  been  adopted  by  Butler : 

"  Whether  dame  Fortune  or  the  care 
Of  Angel  bad,  or  tutelar." 

Hudibras,  P.  I.  c.  iii.  1.  431. 

"  Every  man,"  says  Sheridan  in  the  notes  to  his  Translation  of  Persius,  (2d  edit.  8vo.  Lond. 
1739,  p.  28.)  "  was  supposed  by  the  antients  at  his  birth  to  have  two  Genii,  as  messengers  between 
the  gods  and  him.  They  were  supposed  to  be  private  monitors,  who  by  their  insinuations  disposed 
us  either  to  good  or  evil  actions  j  they  were  also  supposed  to  be  not  only  reporters  of  our  crimes 
in  this  life,  but  registers  of  them  against  our  trial  in  the  next,  whence  they  had  the  name  of  Manes 
given  them.  Their  nature  and  employment  will  appear  belter  from  the  following  quotations  : 

'  Genius  est  Deus  cujus  in  tutela,  ut  quisque  natus  est  vivit,  sive  quod  ut  generemur  curat, 
sive  quod  una  gignitur  nobiscum,  sive  quod  nos  genitos  suscipit,  ac  tuetur,  certe  a  genendo  Ge- 
nius appellatur.1  Censorin.  de  Die  natali,  c.  3. 

T«  T«S  J«i(*oy«v  ys'ws  In  PIVU  StSv  no.}  atfyuirm.    Plutarch.  Lib.  de  Orac. 


MICHAELMAS.  283 

Symmachus,  against  the  Christians,  says  :  "The  divine  Being  has  distributed 
various  guardians  to  cities,  and  that  as  souls  are  communicated  to  infants  at  their 
birth  c,  so  particular  genii  are  assigned  to  particular  societies  of  mend." 

Moresin  tells  us  that  Papal  Rome,  in  imitation  of  this  tenet  of  Gentilism,  has 
fabricated  such  kinds  of  genii  for  guardians  and  defenders  of  cities  and  people. 
Thus  she  has  assigned  St.  Andrew  to  Scotland,  St.  George  to  England,  St. 
Dennis  to  France  :  thus,  Egidius  to  Edinburgh,  Nicholas  to  Aberdeen  e. 

Plutarch  in  his  book  of  Isis  and  Osiris,  quotes  Plato  for  the  same  opinion. 

"Aswrn  Ja/jLii/y  avJ^i  TO 


TU  |S»«.      Menand. 

Not  only  men  but  cities  and  countries  were  said  to  have  their  particular  genius." 

Park  in  his  Travels  in  the  interior  of  Africa,  tells  us,  "  The  concerns  of  this  world,  the  Negroe* 
believe,  are  committed  by  the  Almighty  to  the  superintendance  and  direction  of  subordinate  spirits, 
over  whom  they  suppose  that  certain  magical  ceremonies  have  great  influence.  A  white  fowl  sus- 
pended to  the  branch  of  a  particular  tree,  a  snake's  head,  or  a  few  handful.*  of  fruit,  are  offer- 
ings to  deprecate  the  favour  of  these  tutelary  agents." 

c  The  following  extract  from  a  very  rare  book  entitled  "  Curiosities,  or  the  Cabinet  of  Nature,  by 
R.  B.  Gent."  (Ro.  Basset)  12mo.  Lond.  1637,  p.  228,  informs  us  of  a  very  singular  office  assigned 
by  antient  superstition  to  the  good  Genii  of  Infanta.  The  book  is  by  way  of  question  and  answer. 

"  Q.  Wherefore  is  it  that  the  childe  cryes  when  the  absent  nurse's  brests  doe  pricke  and  ake  ? 

"  An.  That  by  dayly  experience  is  found  to  be  so,  so  that  by  that  the  nurse  is  hastened  home 
to  the  infant  to  supply  the  defect  :  and  the  reason  is  that  either  at  that  very  instant  that  the  infant 
hath  finished  its  concoction,  the  breasts  are  replenished,  and,  for  want  of  drawing,  the  milke 
paines  the  breast,  as  it  is  seen  likewise  in  milch  cattell  :  or  rather  the  good  Genius  of  the  Infant 
seemeth  by  that  means  to  sollicite  or  trouble  the  nurse  in  the  infant's  behalfe  :  which  reason 
seemeth  the  more  finne  and  probable,  because  sometimes  sooner,  sometimes  later,  the  child 
cryeth,  neither  is  the  state  of  nurse  and  infant  alwayes  the  same." 

d  Bourne  ut  supra.  See  a  great  deal  of  information  on  this  subject  in  Fabricii  Bibliographia 
Antiquaria,  p.  262.  and  in  Ormerod's  Pagano-Papismus,  at  the  end  of  the  Picture  of  a  Papist,  4to. 
1606. 

e  "  Sic  papa  populis  et  urbibus  consimiles  fabrical  cultus  et  genios  custodes  &  defensores,  ut 
Scotiee  Andream,  Anglite  Georgium,  Gallite  Dionysium,  &c.  Edinburgo  Egidium,  Aberdonia  Nico- 
laum,  &c."  Moresini  Papatus,  p.  48.  See  also  Burton's  Anat.  of  Melancholy,  4to.  1621,  p.  753. 

I  find  the  subsequent  patron-saints  of  cities  ;  St.  Eligia  and  St.  Norbert  of  Antwerp  ;  St.  HuWo- 
rich  or  Ulric  of  Augsburgh  ;  St.  Martin  of  Boulogne;  St.  Mary  and  St.  Donatian  of  Bruges;  St. 
Mary  and  St.  Gudula  of  Brussels  ;  the  three  Kings  of  the  East  of  Cologne,  also  St.  Ursula  and  the 
eleven  thousand  virgins  j  St.  George  and  St.  John  Baptist  of  Genoa;  St.  Bavo  and  St.  Liburn  of 

002 


284  MICHAELMAS. 

I  find  the  following  Patron  Saints  of  countries  in  other  authorities :  St.  Col- 
man  and  St.  Leopold  for  Austria ;  St.  Wolfgang  and  St.  Mary  Atingana,  for 
Bavaria ;  St.  Winceslaus  for  Bohemia  ;  St.  Andrew  and  St.  Mary  for  Bur- 
gundy ;•  St.  Anscharius  and  St.  Canute  for  Denmark;  St.  Peter  for  Flanders  : 
to  St.  Dennis  is  added  St.  Michael  as  another  patron  Saint  of  France ;  St.  Mar- 
tin, St.  Boniface,  and  St.  George  Cataphractus,  for  Germany ;  St.  Mary  for 
Holland;  St.  Mary  of  Aquisgrana  and  St.  Lewis  for  Hungary  ;  St.  Patrick  for 
Ireland ;  St.  Anthony  for  Italy ;  St.  Firrnin  and  St.  Xavierus  for  Navarre  ;  St. 
Anscharius  and  St.  Olaus  for  Norway ;  St.  Stanislaus  and  St.  Hederiga  for  Po- 
land ;  St.  Savine  for  Poitou ;  St.  Sebastian  for  Portugal,  also  St.  James  and 
St.  George ;  St.  Albert  and  St.  Andrew  for  Prussia ;  St.  Nicholas,  St.  Mary, 
and  St.  Andrew,  for  Russia  ;  St.  Mary  for  Sardinia ;  St.  Maurice  for  Savoy 
and  Piedmont;  St.  Mary  and  St.  George  for  Sicily;  St.  James  (Jago)  for 
Spain ;  St.  Anscharius,  St.  Eric,  and  St.  John,  for  Sweden ;  and  St.  Gall  and 
the  Virgin  Mary  for  Switzerland. 

It  were  superfluous  to  enumerate  the  tutelar  gods  of  heathenismf.  Few  are 
ignorant  that  Apollo  and  Minerva  presided  over  Athens,  Bacchus  and  Hercules 
over  Boeotian  Thebes,  Juno  over  Carthage,  Venus  over  Cyprus  and  Paphos, 
Apollo  over  Rhodes  ;  Mars  was  the  tutelar  god  of  Rome,  as  Neptune  of  Tsena- 
rus;  Diana  presided  over  Crete,  &c.  £e. 

St.  Peter  succeeded  to  Mars  at  the  revolution  of  the  religious  Creed  of  Rome, 
He  now  presides  over  the  castle  of  St.  Angelo  £,  as  Mars  did  over  the  antient 
Capitol. 

Ghent ;  St.  Martial  of  Limosin  * ;  St.  Vincent  of  Lisbon  ;  St.  Mary  and  St.  Rusnold  of  Mechlin  ;  St. 
Mai-tin  and  St.  Boniface  of  Mentz  ;  St.  Ambrose  of  Milan;  St.  Thomas  Aquinas  and  St  Jaauarius 
of  Naples ;  St.  Sebald  of  Nuremberg ;  St.  Frideswide  of  Oxford ;  St.  Genevieve  of  Paris  ;  St.  Peter 
and  St.  Paul  of  Rome  ;  St.  Rupert  of  Saltzberg  ;  the  Virgin  Mary  of  Sienna  ;  St.  Ursus  of  St.  So- 
leure;  St.  Hulderich  or  Ulric  of  Strasbvrgli ;  St.  Mark  of  Tenice;  and  St.  Stephen  of  Vienna. 

!  "  The  Babilonisms  had  Bell  for  their  patron ;  the  Egyptians  Isis  and  Osiris  ;  the  Rhodians  the 
Sunne ;  the  Saniians  Juno;  the  Paphians  Venus;  the  Delphians  Apollo;  the  Ephesians  Diana  j 
all  the  Germans  in  general  St.  George.  I  omit  the  Saints  who  have  given  their  names  to  cities;  as 
St.  Quintin,  St.  Disian,  St.  Denis,  St.  Agnan,  St.. Paul,  St.  Omer."  Stephens's  World  of  Won- 
ders, fol.  1607,  p.  315. 

B  In  the  Observations  on  Days  in  the  antient  Calendar  of  the  Church  of  Rome  to  which  I  have 

*  Se*«  The  World  of  Wonders,"  P.  31 5. 


MICHAELMAS.  285 

The  Romanists,  in  imitation  of  the  Heathens,  have  assigned  tutelar  gods  to 
each  member  of  the  body  h. 

so  frequently  referred,  I  find  on  St.  Michael's  Day  the  following: 
"  Arx  tonat  in  gratiam  tutelaris  Numinis." 
which  I  translate, 

"  Cannon  fired  from  the  citadel  in  honour  of  the  tutelar  saint." 

It  is  observable  in  this  place  how  closely  popery  has  in  this  respect  copied  the  heathen  mytho- 
logy *.  She  has  the  supreme  being  for  Jupiter ;  she  has  substituted  angels  for  genii,  and  the  souls  of 
saints  for  heroes,  retaining  all  kinds  of  dtemom.  Against  these  pests  she  has  carefully  provided 
her  antidotes.  She  exorcises  them  out  of  waters,  she  rids  the  air  of  them  by  ringing  her  hallowed 

bells,  &c. 

•     .  ir     ::,•;  ,  :;i;    ,--  rc.t    , '   <-f.  :    ;    i  :  , 

t  "  Membris  in  homine  veteres  praefecere  suos  deos,  siquidem  capiti  numen  inesse  quoddam 

fertur.  Frontem  sacram  Genio  nonnulli  tradunt,  sicuti  Junoni  brachia,  pectus  Neptuno,  cingu- 
lum  Marti,  renes  Veneri,  pedes  Mercurio,  digitos  Minervae  consecravit  Antiquitas.  Romans  mu- 
lieres  supercilia  Lucinae  consecrarunt,  quia  inde  lux  ad  oculos  fluit ;  et  Homerus  carmine  singulos 
membris  honestavit  deos :  namque  Junonem  facit  Candidas  ulnas  habere,  Auroram  roseos  lacer- 
tos,  Minervatn  oculos  glaucos,  Thetidem  argenfebs  pedes,  Heben  verb  talos  pulcherrimos.  Dex- 
tram  fidei  sacram  Numa  instituit,  etiam  cum  venia'm  sermonis  a  diis  poscimus,  proximo  a  minimo 
digito  secus  aurem  locum  Nemeseos  tangere,  et  'os  bbsignare  solemus  &c.  Alex,  ab  Alex.  lib.  ii.  cap. 

•  We  find  the  following  in  Moresini  Papatus,  p.  133.     "  Porcus  Pani   et  Sylvano  commendabatur.     (Alex,  ab 
Alexand.  lib.  iii.  cap.  12.)  nunc  autem  immundissimus  porcorum  Greges  custodire  cogitur  miser  dntoaiut," 
In  "The  World  of  Wonders"  is  the  following  translation  of  an  epigram : 

"  Once  fed'st  thou,  Anthony,  an  heard  of  swine, 

And  now  an  heard  of  monkes  thou  feedest  still; 

•  T«'  ••  -••I     in  -  .'=!('<'v;     ,!'   -i 

For  wit  and  gut,  alike  both  charges  bin  : 

Both  loven  filth  alike  :  both  like  to  fill 
Their  greedy  paunch  a4ike.     Nor  was  that  kind 

More  beastly,  sottish,  swinish,  then  this  last. 
All  else  agrees :  one  fault  I  onely  find, 

Thou  feeuest  not  thy  monkes  with  oken  mast." 

The  author  mentions  before,  persons  "  who  runne  up  and  downe  the  country,  crying,  '  have  you. any  thing 
to  bestow  upon  my  lord  S.  Anthonie's  swine'?" 

A  writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  for  Dec.  1790,  vol.  Ix.  p.  1086,  derives  the  expression,  "  An  it  please 
the  Pigs,"  not  from  a  corruption  of  "  an  it  please  the  Pix,"  i.e.  the  host,  but  from  a  saying  of  the  scholars  of  St. 
Paul's  sellout,  London,  founded  in  the  reign  of  king  Stephen,  whose  great  rivals  were  the  scholars  of  the  neigh- 
bouring foundation  of  the  brotherhood  of  St.  Anthony  of  Vienna,  situated  in  the  parish  of  Si.  Bennet  Finke 
Threadneedte-street,  and  thence  nick-named  "  St.  Anthony's  Pigs."  So  that  whenever  those  of  St.  Paul's  an- 
swered each  other  >n  the  affirmative,  they  added  this  expression,  scoffingly  insinuating  a  reserve  of  the  approba- 
tion of  the  competitors  of  St.  Anthony's,  who  claimed  a  superiority  over  them."  But  of  this,  Quiere. 


286  MICHAELMA9. 

They  of  the  Romish  religion,  says  Melton  in  his  Astrologaster,  p.  20. 
"  for  every  limbe  in  mans  body  have  a  saint ;  for  St.  Otilia  keepes  the  head  in- 
stead of  Aries  ;  St.  Blasius  is  appointed  to  governe  the  necke  instead  of  Taurus ; 
St.  Lawrence  keepes  the  backe  and  shoulders  instead  of  Gemini,  Cancer,  and 
Leo;  St.  Erasmus  rules  the  belly  with  the  entrayles,  in  the  place  of  Libra  and 
Scorpius  ;  in  the  stead  of  Sagittarius,  Capricornus,  Aquarius,  and  Pisces,  the 
Holy  Church  of  Rome  hath  elected  St.  Burgarde,  St.  Rochus,  St.  Quirinus,  St. 
John,  and  many  others,  which  governe  the  thighes,  feet,  shinnes,  and  knees." 

The  following  saints  are  invoked  against  various  diseases  .  St.  Agatha  against 
sore  breasts ;  St.  Anthony  against  inflammations ;  St.  Apollonia  and  St.  Lucy 
against  the  tooth-ache ;  St.  Benedict  against  the  stone  and  poison  ;  St.  Blaise 
against  bones  sticking  in  the  throat,  fires,  and  inflammations';  St.  Christopher  k 
and  St.  Mark  against  sudden  death  ;  St.  Clara  against  sore  eyes ;  St.  Genow 
against  the  gout ;  St.  Job  and  St.  Fiage  against  the  venereal  disease ;  St.  John 
against  the  epilepsy  and  poison1 ;  St.  Liberius  against  the  stone  and  fistula;  St. 

19.  Jam  ad  hanc  similitudinem  caput,  ita,  non  omnibus  cognita  Dea,  obtinet.  Oculos  habel  Oti- 
lia. Linguam  instituit  Catharina,  in  rhetoricis  et  dialecticis  exercitatissima.  Apollonia  denies  curat. 
Collo  preside!  Blasius  spiritalis  Deus.  Dortmm  una  cum  scapulis  obtinet  Laurentius.  Knismi 
venter  est  totus  cum  intestinis.  Sunt  qui  Burgharto  cuidam  et  crura  et  pedes  consecraverint,  in 
participatum  nonnunquam  admittit  Antonium,  Quirinum,  Joannem,  &  nescio  quos  alios  divos. 
Apollinaris  quidani  Priapi  vices  subiit,  pudendorum  Deus  effectus.  Buling.  cap.  xxxiv.  lib.  de  Orig. 
cult.  Deor.  Erron."  Moresini  Papatus,  pp.  93,  94. 

i  He  had  cured  a  boy  that  had  got  a  fish-bone  in  his  throat.  (See  the  Golden  Legend.)  And  was 
particularly  invoked  by  the  Papists  in  the  Squinnancy  or  Quinsy.  Fabric.  Bibliogr.  Antiq.  p.  267. 
Gent.  Mag.  vol.  xliii.  p.  384. 

k  «  A  cock  is  offered  (at  least  was  wont  to  be)  to  St.  Christopher  in  Touraine  for  a  certaine  sore 
which  useth  to  be  in  the  end  of  mens  fingers,  the  white-flaw."  .  World  of  Wonders,  p.  308.  The 
cock  was  to  be  a  white  one. 

1  "  Apollini  et  ./Esculapio  ejus  filio  datur  morbo  medicinam  facere,  apud  nos  COSIIHE  et  Dami- 
ano  :  at  pestis  in  partem  cedit  Rocho :  oculorum  lippitudo  Clara.  Antonius  suibus  medendis  suf- 
ficit :  &  Apollo  noster  dentium  morbis.  Morbo  sontico  olim  Hercules,  nunc  Joannes  et  Valenti- 
nits  prasunt.  In  ai  te  obstetricandi  Lucinam  longe  superat  nostra  Margareta,  et  quia  hsec  moritiir 
virgo,  ne  non  satis  attenta  ad  curam  sit,  quam  neque  didicit,  neque  experientia  cognovit,  illi  in 
officio  jungitur  fungendo  expertus  Murpurgus.  Aliqui  addunt  loco  Junonis,  Reginam  nostri  cteli 
divam  Mariam.  Ritffinus  et  Romanus  phrenesi  praesunt,  &c."  Moresini  Papatus,,  p.  16.  See  also 
the  "  World  of  Wonders,"  fol.  1607,  p.  303. 

"  Diana,  the  huntress,  new  worshippers  wins, 
Who  call  her  St.  Agnes,  confessing  their  sins; 


MICHAELMAS.  28? 

Maine  against  the  scab ;  St.  Margaret  against  danger  in  child-benring ;  also  St. 
Edine;  St.  Martin  m  for  the  itch ;  St.  Marus  against  palsies  and  convulsions  n  ; 
St.  Maure  for  the  gout0;  St.  Otilia  against  sore  eyes  and  head-ach,  also  St.  Ju- 
liana ;  St.  Petronilla  and  St.  Genevieve  against  fevers  ;  St.  Quintan  against 
coughs  ;  St.  Romanus  against  devils  possessing  people ;  St.  Ruffin  against  mad- 
ness; St.  Sebastian  P  and  St.  Roch  against  the  plague;  St.  Sigismund  against  fe- 
vers and  agues;  St.  Valentine  against  the  epilepsy;  St.  Venisa  against  green- 
sickness ;  St.  Wallia  or  St.  Wallery  against  the  stone ;  and  St.  Wolfgang  against 
lameness  *. 


To  the  god  Esculapius  incurables  pray, 
Since  the  doctor  is  christianiz'd  St.  Bart'lomt; 
Tho'  the  goddess  of  Antipertussis  we  scoff, 
As  Madonna  dell'  Tossa  she  opiates  a  cough." 

See  the  present  State  of  the  Manners,  &c.  of  France  and  Italy  :  in  poetical  epistles  addressed  te 
Robert  Jephson,  Esq.  8vo.  Lond.  1794,  p.  64. 

n»  In  the  introduction  to  the  old  play  called  "  A  Game  at  Chesse,"  4to.  is  the  following  line : 
"  Roch,  Maine,  and  Petronell,  itch  and  ague  curers." 

n  Patrick's  Devotions,  p.  277. 

o  "  World  of  Wonders,"  p.3U. 

P  See  Fuller's  Ch.  Hist.  b.  vi.  p.  330. 

q  Barnaby  Rich,  in  "  The  Irish  Hubbub,  or  the  English  Hue  and  Crie,"  4to.  Lond.  1619,  p.  36, 
has  the  following  passage  :  "  There  be  many  miracles  assigned  to  Saints,  that  (they  say)  are  good 
for  all  diseases ;  they  can  give  sight  to  the  blinde,  make  the  deafe  to  heare,  they  can  restore  limbs 
that  be  cripled  and  make  the  lame  to  goe  upright,  they  be  good  for  horse,  swine,  and  many  other 
beasts.  And  women  are  not  without  their  shee  saints,  to  whom  they  doe  implore  when  they  would 
have  children,  and  for  a  quick  deliverance  when  they  be  in  labour. 

"  They  have  saints  to  pray  to  when  they  be  grieved  with  a  third  day  ague,  when  they  be  pained 
with  the  tooth-ach,  or  when  they  would  be  revenged  of  their  angry  husbands. 

"  They  have  saints  that  be  good  amongst  poultry,  for  chickins  when  they  have  the  pip,  for  geese 
when  they  doe  sit,  to  have  a  happy  successe  in  goslings  :  and,  to  be  short,  there  is  no  disease,  no 
cicknesse,  no  greefe,  either  amongst  men  or  beasts,  that  hath  not  his  physician  among  the  Saints." 

In  Michael  Wodde's  Dialogue  (cited  under  PALM  SUNDAV)  A.  D.  1554,  Signat.  c.  ii  b.  we  read : 
"  If  we  were  sycke  of  the  pestylence  we  ran  to  Sainte  Rooke ;  if  of  the  ague  to  Saint  Pernel,  or 
Master  John  Shorne  ;  if  men  were  in  prison,  thei  praied  to  Saint  Leonarde :  if  the  Welchman 
wold  have  a  purssc,  he  praied  to  Darvel  Gatherne  ;  if  a  wife  were  weary  of  her  husband,  she  offred 
otes  at  Ponies,  at  London,  to  St.  Uncumber.  Thus  have  we  been  deluded  with  their  images*." 
*  St.  Wilgford  was  also  invoked  by  women  to  get  rid  of  their  husbands. 


2S8  MICHAELMAS. 

In  farther  imitation  of  heathenism,  the  Romanists  have  assigned  tutelar 
gods  to  distinct  professions  and  ranks  of  people r,  (some  of  them  not  of 
the  best  sort,)  to  different  trades8,  &c,  nay,  they  have  even  condescended 


Newton,  in  his  "Tryall  of  a  mans  owne  selfe,  12mo.  Lond.  1602,  p.  50.  censures  "  Physitiona, 
when  they  beare  their  patient  in  hand,  or  make  him  to  think  that  some  certain  Saints  have  power  to 
send,  and  also  to  fake  away  this  or  that  disease." 

T  St.  Agatha  presides  over  nurses;  St.  Catharine  and  St.  Gregory  are  the  patrons  of  literati, 
or  studious  persons  ;  St.  Catherine  also  presides  over  the  arts  in  the  room  of  Minerva;  St.  Chris- 
topher and  St.  Nicholas  preside  over  mariners*,  also  St.  Hermusf;  St.  Cecilia  is  the  patroness 
of  musicians  ;  St.  Cosmas  and  St.  Damian  are  the  patrons  of  physicians  and  surgeons,  also  of 
philosophers.  (See  Patrick's  Devotions,  p. 264.)  St.  Dismas  and  St. Nicholas  preside  over  thieves; 
St.  Eustache  and  St.  Hubert  over  hunters  §;  St  Felicitas  over  young  children  ;  St.  Julian  is  the 
patron  of  pilgrims  {  ;  St.  Leonard  and  St.  Barbara  ||  protect  captives ;  St.  Luke  is  the  patron  of 
painters;  St.  Magdalen,  St.  Afra,  (Aphra  or  Aphrodite),  and  St.  Brigit  preside  over  common 
women  ;  St.  Martin  and  St.  Urban  over  ale-knights  to  guard  them  from  falling  into  the  kennel; 
St.  Mathurin  over  fools  ^f ;  St.  Sebastian  over  archers ;  St.  Thomas  over  divines ;  St.  Thomas 
Becket  over  blind  mcn^  eunuchs,  and  sinners  ** ;  St.  Valentine  over  lovers ;  St.  Winifred  over 
virgins ;  and  St.  Yves  over  lawyers  and  civilians.  St.  ^Ethelbert  and  St.  .•Elian  were  invoked 
against  thieves  ff. 

Here  also  may  be  noticed  that  St.  Agatha  presides  over  vallies  ;  St.  Anne  over  riches  ;  St.  Barbara 
over  hills  ;  St.  Florian  over  fire;  St.  Giles  and  St.  Hyacinth  are  invoked  by  barren  women;  St- 
Osyth  by  women  to  guard  thsir  keys  ;  St.  Silvester  protects  the  woods ;  St.  Urban  wine  and  vine- 
yards; and  St.  Vincent  and  St.  Anne  are  the  restorers  of  lost  things. 

8  St.  Andrew  and  St.  Joseph  were  the  patron  saints  of  carpenters;  St.  Anthony  of  swine  herds 
and  grocers  ;  St.  Arnold  of  millers ;  St..  Blaise  of  wool-combers ;  St.  Catherine  of  spinners ;  St. 
Clement  of  tanners  ;  St.  Cloud  of  nailsmiths,  on  account  of  his  name ;  St.  Dunstan  of  goldsmiths; 
St.  Eloy  of  blacksmiths,  farriers,  and  goldsmiths  J  J  ;  St.  Euloge  (who  is  probably  the  same  with  St. 

*  St.  Barbara,  St.  Andrew,  and  St.  Clement,  are  also  noticed  as  Sea-saints.  Warner,  in  his  Hist,  of  Hamp- 
shire, vol.  i.  p.  155,  note,  says :  "  St.  Christopher  presided  over  the  weather,  and  was  the  Patron  of  Field-sports." 
He  is  citing  an  antient  description  of  a  hunter,  in  verse : 

"  A  Criitof're  on  his  breast  of  silver  shene; 
An  horn  he  bare,  the  baudrie  was  of  greene." 

•f  See  Castillo's  Courtier,  Signat.  S.  v. 

J  Melton  in  his  Astrologaster.  p.  19.  says,  "they  hold  that  St.  Hugh  and  St.  Eustace  guards  hunters  from 
perills  and  dangers,  that  the  stagge  or  bucke  may  not  hit  them  on  the  head  with  their  homes." 

§  Also  of  whoremongers,  v.  Hist,  des  Troubad.  torn.  i.  p.  11. 

\   Parkin's  Norwich,  p.  241.  f  See  Carpentier,  p.  245. 

'*  See  Patrick,  p.  185.  ff.  Scott,  and  Pciin.  H.  of  Wales.  ,;., 

U  See  note  «  in  p.  290  on  ST.  Lov. 


MICHAELMAS.  289 

to  appoint  these  celestial  guardians  also  to  the  care  of  animals,  &c.  * 


Eloy)  of  smiths  *,  though  others  say  of  jockics  ;  St.  Florian  of  mercers ;  St.  Francis  of  butchers ; 
St.  George  of  clothiers ;  St.  Goodman  of  taylors,  sometimes  called  St.  Gutman,  and  St.  Annf ;  St. 
Gore  with  the  devil  on  his  shoulder  and  a  pot  in  his  hand,  of  potters,  also  called  St.  Goarin  j  St. 
Hilary  of  coopers;  St.  John  Fort-Latin  of  booksellers}: ;  St.  Josse  and  St.  Urban  of  plowmen; 
St.  Leodagar  of  drapers ;  St.  Leonard  of  locksmiths,  as  well  as  captives ;  St.  Louis  of  perriwig-ma- 
kers  ;  St.  Martin  of  master  shoemakers,  and  St.  Crispin  of  coblers  and  journeymen  shoe-makers  ; 
St.  Nicholas  of  parish  clerks,  and  also  of  butchers  ;  St.  Peter  of  fishmongers ;  St.  Sebastian  of  pin- 
makers,  on  account  of  his  being  stuck  with  arrows ;  St.  Seyerus  of  fullers ;  St.  Stephen  of 
weavers ;  St.  Tibba  of  falconers  §  ;  St.  Wilfrid  of  bakers,  St.  Hubert  also  ||,  and  St.  Honor  or  Ho- 
nore  ^f  j  St.  William  of  hatmakers  ;  and  St;  Windeline  of  shepherds. 

t  St.  Anthony  protects  hogs  ;  St.  Ferioll  presides  over  geese,  others  say  St.  Gallicet,  St.  Callus, 
or  St.  Andoch  **  ;  St.  Gallus  also  protects  the  keepers  of  geese  ;  St.  Gertrude  presides  over  mice 
and  eggs  ;  St.  Hubert  protects  dogs,  and  is  invoked  against  the  bite  of  mad  ones ;  St.  Loy  is  for 

*  "  Fabrorura  Deus  Vulcanus  fuit  ferrariorum,  nunc  in  papatu  commutarunt  Vulcanum  cum  Eulogioi  Bu- 
ling.  Orig.  cap.  34.  Sed  quia  Bulingcrus  dedit  nuper  Equis  Eulogium,  meliits  est  cum  Scotis  sentire,  qui  sub 
papatu  olim  hisce  fabris  dederunt  Aloisium,  quern  colerent,  ut  et  reliquis  qui  malleo  utuntur."  Moresini  Papa- 
tus, p.  56. 

f  See  Moresini  Papatus,  p.  155.  "  Sartoribus  nemo  deorum  veterum  prseest,  quern  legere  contigit,  nisi  sit 
Mercurius  Fur,  cum  ipsi  sint  FURACISSIMI.  Bulling,  cap.  34.  Orig.  ex  Papae  decreto  coticedit  illis,  cum  sint  ple- 
rumque  belli  liomuneuli,  dignum  suis  moribus  deum  Gutmannum  nesciu  queui.  Sed  birtiarum  nomen  cogit 
fateri  civiliores  esse  Scotos,  qui  Annam  matrem  Virginis  Marias  coluerunt,  quie  ac  dicunt  Tunicam  Christi  texuit, 
et  ideo  merito  illis  dca  est. 

Butler  in  his  Iludibras  bag  the  following: 

— —  "  he  had,  a?  well 
As  the  bold  Trojan  knight,  seen  HEI.L; 
Not  with  a  counterfeited  pass 
Of  golden  bough,  but  true  gold  lace." 

A  note  explains  "  ^neas,  whom  Virgil  reports  to  use  a  golden  bough  for  a  piss  to  Hell :  and  taylors  call  that 
place  Hell  where  they  put  all  they  steal."  P.  I.  c.  i.  1.  475. 

So  in  the"  Defence  of  Conny-catching,"  signat.  P.  4  b.  "  All  the  reversion  goes  into  ffel.  Now  this  Hel  is 
a  place  that  the  Taylors  have  under  their  shop-boord,  where  all  their  stolne  shreds  is  thrust."  I  derive  this 
"  HEL"  from  A.  S.,  helan,  to  hide  i  as  I  do  the  word  "  CABBAGE,"  as  used  by  the  same  taylors  from  Cablish,  wind- 
fain  or  brush  wood."  See  Cowel's  Interpreter  in  verko.  This  was  the  perquisite  of  the  keeper  of  the  forest. 
The  analogy  is  obvious. 

J  Sauval.  Antiq.  de  Paris,  torn.  ii.  p.  621.  {  See  Fuller's  Worthies.    Rutland,  p.  347. 

||  See  Moresini  Papatus,  p.  127- 

U  Fuller  Ch.  Hist.  p.  381.  "  St.  Honore  a  Baker."  World  of  Wonders,  p.  310.  It  should  appear  from  Dek- 
ker's  "  Wonderful!  Yeare,"  4to.  1C03.  signat.  D.  2  b.  that  St.  Clement  was  also  a  patron  saint  of  bakers.  "  He 
worships  the  baker's  good  lord  and  maister,  charitable  S.  Clement,"  &c.  Lewis  Owen  in  the  "  Unmasking  of  all 
Popish  Monkes,  &c  "  4to.  Lond.  1628.  p.  98.  says  that "  St.  Clement  is  for  bakers,  brewers,  »nd  victuallers." 

•*  World  of  Wonders,  p.  311. 

VOL.  I.  P  T 


890  MICHAELMAS. 

Barnabe  Googe,  in   "  The  Popish  Kingdome,"  fol.  98,  99,  has  given  us" 

horses  and  kine*;  St.  Magnus  is  invoked  against  locusts  and  caterpillars;  St.  Pelagius,  otherwise 
St.  Pelage,  or  St.  Peland,  protects  oxenf ;  and  St.  Wendeline,  sheep ;  or,  as  one  writer  has  it, 
St.  Wolfe  }. 

«  i.e.  St.  Eloy,  or  Eligius,  before-mentioned  as  the  guardian  of  farriers.  Bridges,  in  his  History  of  North- 
amptonshire, vol.  i.  p.  25S,  speaking  of  Wedon-Pinkeney,  says:  "In  this  church  was  the  Memorial  of  St.  Loys 
kept,  whither  did  many  resort  for  the  cure  ef  their  Horsus ;  where  there  was  a  house  at  the  East  end  thereof, 
plucked  down  within  few  years,  which  was  called  St.  Loy's  House." 

A  Writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine,  however,  for  1779,  vol.  xlix.  p.  190,  would  have  St.  Loy  to  be  the 
diminutive  of  St.  Lucian : 

"  In  the  uncertainty  we  labour  under  about  the  miracle  supposed  to  be  commemorated  on  the  Frekenbam 
bas-relief,  (See  Gent.  Mag.  vol.  xlvii.  p.  416,  vol.  xlviii.  p.  304,)  I  cannot  concur  with  my  ingenious  friend  your 
Correspondent  in  the  last  month's  Mag.  p.  138,  in  ascribing  it  to  St.  Eligius.  Mr.  Bridges  gives  no  authority  for 
this  opinion.  He  would  rather  lead  us  to  suppose  St.  Loy  to  be  St.  Lucian,  to  whose  monastery  Wedon-Pinckney 
was  a  cell,  though  its  parish  church  was  dedicated  to  the  blessed  Virgin  j  and  Mr.  Tyrwhitt  seems  of  this  senti- 
ment. Loy  is  a  more  natural  abbreviation  of  Lewis,  or  Lucian,  than  of  Elegius  j  for  Eloy  rests  only  on  Urry'i 
authority.  Eligius  served  his  time  to  one  Abbo,  a  goldsmith,  and  made  for  King  Clotaire  two  saddles  of  gold 
«et  with  jewels,  such  as  one  might  suppose  Mr.  Cox  would  make  for  the  Nabob  of  Arcot.  He  became  Bishop 
of  Noyon,  where  he  died.  (Lippelii  vit.  Sanctor.  vol.  iv.  p.  632.  ex  Baronii  Anna),  torn,  viii.)  Not  a  word  of 
his  patronizing  Farriers.  Till  the  particular  miracle  in  question  is  ascertained,  I  think  the  claim  lies  at  present 
between  St.  Anthony  and  St.  Hippolytus." 

See  Tyrwhitt's  Chaucer,  Cant.  Tales,  edit.  8vo.  vol.  iv.  p.  196.  In  the  Ordinary  of  the  Smiths'  Company  in 
Brand's  History  of  Newcastle-upon-Tyne,  vol.  ii.  p.  318,  the  fraternity  is  ordered  to  meet  on  "St.  Loy's  Day." 
[St.  Loy,  says  Mr.  Brand,  is  certainly  not  St.  Lucian.] 

In  the  World  of  Wonders  we  have  the  following  remarks,  in  part  only  to  our  present,  though  altogether  to 
our  general,  purpose.  The  opening  at  least  serves  to  shew  that  Eloy  does  not  rest  only  on  Urry's  authority. 

"When  ST.  ELOY  (who  is  the  Saint  for  Smiths)  doth  hammer  his  irons,  is  he  not  instead  of  God  Vulcan? 
and  do  they  not  give  the  same  titles  to  St.  George,  which  in  old  times  were  given  to  Mars  ?  and  do  they  not 
honor  St.  Nicholas  after  the  same  manner  that  Pagans  honoured  God  Neptune  ?  and  when  St.  Peter  is  made 
a  porter,  doth  he  not  represent  God  Janus  ?  Nay,  they  would  faine  make  the  Angell  Gabriel  beleeve  that  he  is 
God  Mercury.  And  is  not  Pallas,  the  Goddesse  of  Arts  and  Sciences,  represented  to  us  byS.  Katherine?  And  have 
they  not  S.  Hubert,  the  Gad  of  Hunters,  instead  of  Diana  ?  (which  office  some  give  to  S.  Eustace.)  And  when 
they  apparell  John  Baptist  in  a  lion's  skin,  is  it  not  to  represent  Hercules  unto  us  ?  And  is  not  Saint  Katherine 
commonly  painted  with  a  wheele,  as  they  were  wont  to  paint  Fortune  ?"  p.  308. 

"They  will  needs  have  St.  Genneuiefue  (h«r  especially  at  Paris)  to  bestir  her  stumps  in  hastening  God  to 
cause  raine,  when  there  is  a  great  drought :  as  also  to  leave  rayning  when  it  poureth  down  too  fast,  and  conti- 
nueth  over  long."  And  as  for  the  thunder  and  the  thunder-bolts,  '•  St.  Barbe  (their  Saint  for  Harquebuziers) 
obtained  this  office,  to  beate  backe  tfce  blowes  of  the  thunderbolt."  "  Tbty  have  made  St.  Maturin  physitian 
for  Fooles,  having  relation  to  the  word  JUatto.  St.  Acairc  cureth  the  acariastres,  i.  e.  frantic  or  furious  bedlams.1' 
•"St.  Avcrtin  cureth  the  avertineux,  i.  e.  fantastical!  lunatic  persons,  and  all  the  diseases  of  the  head  :  St.  Eu- 
trope  the  dropsie :  Saint  Mammard  is  made  physitian  ies  mummellcs,  that  is  of  the  paps :  Saint  Phiacre  of 
ihe  phy,  or  emeroids,  of  those  especially  which  grow  in  the  fundament :  Saint  Main  healeth  the  scab  <les 
mains,  that  is,  of  the  hands ;  St.  Geuou  the  gout ;  St.  Agnan,  or  St.  Tignan,  the  filthy  disease  called  la 
•tigne,  the  scurfe."  Ibid.  p.  309. 

f  World  of  Wonders,  p.  3)0.  J  Ibid.  311. 


MICBAEL1IAS-.  291 

the  following  translation  of  Naogeorgus  on  this  subject,  under  the  head  of 
HELPERS  : 

"  To  every  saint  they  also  doe  his  office  here  assine, 
And  fourtene  doe  they  count  of  whom  thou  mayst  have  ayde  divine ; 
Among  the  which  our  Ladie  still  doth  holde  the  chiefest  place, 
And  of  her  gentle  nature  helpes,  in  euery  kinde  of  case. 
Saint  Barbara  lookes  that  none  without  the  body  of  Christ  doe  dye, 
Saint  Cathern  favours  learned  men,  and  gives  them  wisedome  hye  : 
And  teacheth  to  resolue  the  doubles,  and  alwayes  givetli  ayde, 
Unto  the  scolding  sophister,  to  make  his  reason  stayde. 
Saint  Appolin  the  rotten  teeth  doth  helpe,  when  sore  they  ake, 
Otillia  from  the  bleared  eyes  the  cause  and  griefe  doth  take. 
Rookt  healeth  scabbes  and  maungines,  with  pock es,  and  skurfe,  andskall, 
And  cooleth  raging  carbuncles,  and  byles,  and  botches  all. 
There  is  a  saint  whose  name  in  verse  cannot  declared  be, 
He  serves  against  the  plague,  and  ech  infective  maladie. 
Saint  Valentine  beside  to  such  as  doe  his  power  dispise 
The  falling  sicknesse  sendes,  and  helpes  the  man  that  to  him  cries. 
The  raging  minde  of  furious  folkes  doth  Vitus  pacifie, 
And  doth  restore  them  to  their  vvitte,  being  calde  on  speediiie. 
Erasmus  heales  the  collicke  and  the  griping  of  the  guttes  : 
And  Laurence  from  the  backe  and  from  the  shoulder  sicknesse  puttes. 
Blase  drives  away  the  qu'msey  quiglit  with  water  sanctifide, 
From  every  Christian  creature  here,  and  every  beast  beside. 
Put  Leonerd  of  the  prisoners  doth  the  bandes  asunder  pull, 
And  breakes  the  prison  doores  and  chaines,  wherwith  his  church  is  full. 
The  quartane  ague,  and  the  reast,  doth  Pernel  take  away, 
And  John  preserves  his  worshippers,  from  prysoti  every  day : 
Which  force  to  Benet  eke  they  give,  that  helpe  enough  may  bee, 
By  saintes  in  every  place.  What  dost  thou  here  omitted  see  f 
From  dreadfull  vnprovided  death  doth  Mark  deliver  his, 
Who  of  more  force  than  death  himselfe,  and  more  of  value  is. 
Saint  Anne  gives  wealth  and  living  great  to  such  as  love  hir  most, 
And  is  a  perlite  finder  out  of  things  that  have  beene  lost : 
Which  vertue  likewise  they  ascribe  vnto  an  other  man, 

Vincent ;  what  he  is  I  cannot  tell,  nor  whence  he  came. 


292  MICHAELMAS. 

Against  reproche  and  infamy,  on  Szisan  doe  they  call, 

Romanus  drireth  sprites  away,  and  wicked  devills  all. 

The  byshop  Wolf  gang  he&lee  thegoute,  S.  Wendl-in  kepes  the  shepe, 

With  shephcardes,  and  the  oxen  fatte,  as  he  was  woont  to  keepe. 

The  bristled  hogges  doth  Antonit  preserve  and  cherish  well  u, 

Who  in  his  life  tyme  alwayes  did  in  woodesand  forrestes  dwell. 

Saint  Gartrude  riddes  the  house  of  mise,  and  killeth  all  the  rattes, 

The  like  doth  bishop  Huldrich  with  his  earth,  two  passing  cattes. 

Saint  Gregorie  lookes  to  little  boyes,  to  teach  their  a.  b.  c. 

And  makes  them  for  to  love  their  bookes  and  schollers  good  to  be. 

Saint  Nicolas  keepes  the  mariners  from  daunger  and  diseas, 

That  beaten  are  with  boystrous  waves,  and  tost  in  dredfull  seas. 

Great  Chrystopher  that  painted  is  with  body  big  and  tall, 

Both  even  the  same,  who  doth  preserve,  and  keepe  his  seruants  all 

From  fearefull  terrours  of  the  night,  and  makes  them  well  to  rest, 

By  whom  they  also  all  their  life,  with  divers  ioyes  are  blest. 

Saint  Ag<ith<e  defencles  thy  house,  from  fire  and  fearefull  flame, 

But  when  it  burnes,  in  armour  all  doth  Florian  quench  the  same. 

Saint  Urban  makes  the  pleasant  wine,  and  doth  preserve  it  still, 

And  spourging,  vessels  all  with  must  continually  doth  fill. 

Judocus  doth  defende  the  corne,  from  myldeawes  and  from  blast, 

And  Magnus  from  the  same  cloth  drive  the  grasshopper  as  fast. 

Thy  office,  George,  is  onely  here,  the  horseman  to  defende, 

Great  kinges  and  noble  men,   with  pompe,  on  dice  doe  still  attende. 

And  Loye  the  smith  doth  looke  to  horse,  and  smithes  of  all  degree, 

If  they  with  iron  meddle  here  or  if  they  goldesmithes  bee. 

Saint  Luke,  doth  euermore  defende  the  paynters  facultie, 

Phisitions  eke  by  Cosme  and  his  fellow  guided  be."  .    • 

11  In  Bale's  Comedye  of  Thre  Lawes,  1538,  Signal.  E.  viij.  b.  Infidelity  begins  his  address . 
"  Good  Christen  people,  '1  am  come  hyther  verelye 
As  a  true  proctour  of  the  howse  of  Saint  Antonye." 

And  boasts,  among  other  charms : 

"  Lo  here  is  a  belle  to  hange  upon  your  hogge, 
And  save  your  cattell  from  the  bylynge  of  a  dogge." 

He  adde, 

"  And  here  I  blesse  ye  with  a  wynge  of  the  holy  ghost, 
From  thornier  to  tave  ye  and/rom  spretes  in  every  coost." 


MICHAELMAS. 

It  is,  perhaps,  owing  to  this  antient  notion  of  good  and  evil  genii"  attending 
each  person,  that  many  of  the  vulgar  pay  so  great  attention  to  particular  dreams, 
thinking  them,  it  should  seem,  the  means  these  invisible  attendants  make  use  of 
to  inform  their  wards  of  any  imminent  danger. 

Michaelmas,  says  Bailey,  is  a  Festival  appointed  by  the  Church  to  be  ob- 
served in  honour  of  St.  Michael?  the  Arch-angel,  who  is  supposed  to  be  the 
chief  of  the  Host  of  Heaven  as  Lucifer  is  of  the  infernal,  and  as  he  was  sup- 
posed to  be  the  protector  of  the  Jewish,  so  is  he  now  esteemed  the  guardian 
and  defender  of  the  Christian  Church. 

*  "  Statilinus  erat  Deus  cujusque  privatus,  qui  semper  suum  hominem  est  dictus  comitari :  sic 
Papa  cuique  adglutinat  suum  Arigelum  et  quisque  sibi  patronum  ex  defunctis  unuui  eligit,  cujus 
sit  cliens  ct  cui  \ota  ferat."     Moresini  Papatus,  p.  16'4. 

"  Theodoretus  in  Expositione  Epist.  Paul!  ad  Coloss.  ii.  (licit,  qui  legeni  defendebant  Pseudo- 
Apostoli  eos  etiaui  ad  Angelos  coleiulos  inducebaiit,  dicentes,  legem  per  ipsos  datam  fuisse,  inansit 
autem  hoc  vitium  diu  in  Phrygia  et  Pisidia,  quocirca  Synodus  quoquc  convenit  Laodiceee,  qua:  est 
Phrygian  metropolis,  et  Icge  prohibuit,  ne  prccarentur  Angelos  :  Canon.  Concil.  Laodicen.  est  34. 
ac  ita  habet :  Non  oportet  Christianos  derelicta  Ecclesia  abire  ad  Angelos  et  Idololatriae  abomi- 
nandas  congregationes  facere,  &c.  Sed  nunc  ex  papismo  Angeli  duo  cuique  assident,  bonum  liis 
conceptis  precantur  verbis. 

"  Angele  qui  meus  es  C'ustos  pietute  superna, 
Me  libi  commissum  serva,  defende,  guberna."     Ibid.  p.  10. 

In  "  The  Tryall  of  a  Man's  own  Selfe,"  by  Thomas  Newton,  12mo.  Land.  ]  G02,  p.  44,  he 
enquires,  under  "  Sinnes  externall  and  outward"  against  the  first  commandment,  "whether,  for 
the  avoiding  of  any  e\  ill,  or  obtaining  of  any  good,  thou  hast  trusted  to  tlie  helpe,  protection, 
and  furtherance  of  Angels,  either  goodc  or  badde.  Hereunto  is  to  be  referred  the  paultring  maw- 
metrie  and  heathenish  worshipping  of  that  domesticall  God,  or  familiar  Aungell,  which  was 
thought  to  bee  appropried  to  everie  particular  person." 

In  answer  to  a  query  in  the  Athenian  Oracle,  vol.  i.  p.  4,  "Whether  every  man  has  a  good  and 
bad  Angel  attending  him  ?''  we  rind  the  following  to  our  purpose  :  "  The  ministration  of  Angels 
is  certain,  but  the  manner  how,  is  the  knot  to  be  untied.  'Twas  generally  believed  by  the  antient 
philosophers,  tnat  not  only  kingdoms  had  their  tutelary  Guardians,  but  that  every  person  had  his 
particular  Genius,  or  good  Angel,  to  protect  and  admonish  him  by  dreams,  visions,  &c.  We 
read  that  Origen,  Hierome,  Plato,  and  Empedocles  in  Plutarch,  were  also  of  this  opinion ;  and 
the  Jews  themselves,  as  appears  by  that  instance  of  Peter's  deliverance  out  of  prison.  They  be- 
lieved it  could  not  be  Peter,  but  his  Angel.  But  for  the  particular  attendance  of  bad  Angels,  we 
believe  it  not,  and  we  must  deny  it,  till  it  finds  better  proof  than  conjectures." 

*  A  red  velvet  Buckler  is  said  to  be  still  preserved  in  a  Castle  in  Normandy,  which  the  Arch- 
angel made  use  of  when  he  combated  the  Dragon.    See  Bishop  Hall's  Triumphs  of  Rome,  p.  62. 


J1ICHAELMA9. 


Bishop  Hall,  in  Triumphs  of  Romez,  ridicules  the  superstition  of  sailors 
among  the  Romanists,  who,  in  passing  by  St.  Michael's  Grecian  promontory 
Malla,  used  to  ply  him  with  their  best  devotions,  that  he  would  hold  still  his 
wings  from  resting  too  hard  upon  their  sails. 


MICHAELMAS    GOOSE. 


"  September,  when  by  Custom  (right  divine) 
Geese  are  ordain'd  to  bleed  at  Michael's  shrine." 

CHURCHILL. 


THERE  is  an  old  custom  still  in  use  among  us,  of  having  a  roast  Goose  to 
dinner  on  Michaelmas  Day. 

"  Goose-intentos,"  as  Blount  tells  us,  is  a  word  used  in  Lancashire,  where 
"  the  husbandmen  claim  it  as  a  due  to  have  a  Goose  Intentos  on  the  sixteenth 
Sunday  after  Pentecost :  which  custom  took  origin  from  the  last  word  of  the  old 
church-prayer  of  that  day  :  '  Tua,  nos  quaesumus,  Domine,  gratia  semper 
prseveniat  &  sequatur ;  ac  bonis  operibus  jugiter  praestet  esse  intentos.'  The 
common  people  very  humourously  mistake  it  for  a  goose  with  ten  toes." 

This  is  by  no  means  satisfactory.  Beckwith,  in  his  neiv  edition  of  the  Jocular 
Tenures,  p.  223,  says  upon  it :  "  But,  besides  that  the  sixteenth  Sunday  after  Pen- 
tecost, or  after  Trinity  rather,  being  moveable,  and  seldom  falling  upon  Michael- 
mas Day,  which  is  an  immoveable  Feast,  the  service  for  that  day  could  very  rarely 
be  used  at  Michaelmas,  there  does  not  appear  to  be  the  most  distant  allusion 
to  a  Goose  in  the  words  of  that  prayer.  Probably  no  other  reason  can  be  given 
for  this  custom,  but  that  Michaelmas  Day  was  a  great  Festival,  and  Geese  at 
that  time  most  plentiful1.  In  Denmark,  where  the  harvest  is  later,  every 
_  _  —  -  • 

*  Triumph  of  Piety,  p.  50. 

*  In  Poor  Robin's  Almanack  for  1695,  under  September,  are  the  following  quaint  lines : 

"  GEESE  now  in  their  prime  season  are, 
Which,  if  well  roasted,  are  good  fare : 


MICHAELMAS   GOOSE.  295 

family  has  a  roasted  Goose  for  supper  on  St.  Martin's  Eveb. 

Among  other  services  (in  this  country)  John  de  la  Hay  was  hound  to  render 
to  William  Barnaby,  Lord  of  Lastres,  in  the  county  of  Hereford,  for  a  parcel 
of  the  demesne  lands,  one  Goose  fit  for  the  Lord's  dinner  on  the  Feast  of  St. 
Michael  the  Archangel.  And  this,  as  early  as  the  tenth  year  of  King  Edward 
the  Fourth0." 

Mr.  Douce  says :  "  I  have  somewhere  seen  the  following  reason  for  eating 
Goose  on  Michaelmas  Day,  viz,  that  Queen  Elizabeth  received  the  news  of 
the  defeat  of  the  Spanish  Armada,  whilst  she  was  eating  a  goose  on  Michael- 
mass  Day,  and  that  in  commemoration  of  th